With but one point out of ten to show for a home stand, the Vancouver Canucks have stumbled about in this month of January, edging closer to the bottom of the standings in the West than they are to the top.
Sunday saw the Canucks surrender an early game lead and eventually lose in a shoot out, Rick Nash going one better than Mats Sundin to provide the Blue Jackets with the victory.
In just one week, the Canucks have lost to three lower echelon clubs (lower by only a few points now as things have turned out) in the west, the Blues, the Coyotes and the Blue Jackets, teams they desperately need to keep ahead of if playoff hockey is to be a going concern in the months of April and May.
With a growing sense of frustration, Canuck fans have watched on five home occasions in recent days as their local squad looked overwhelmed at times by the opposition. Even with Roberto Luongo back in the nets and with Mats Sundin working off the rust as a work in progress, the Canucks have not picked up the pace required to stake their claim for post season play.
While it's certainly not a dire situation just yet, the smell of panic is starting to float across Vancouver like a pacific front, the problem is the Canucks don't seem to be working their way out of the slump, but rather they seem to be digging themselves in deeper.
The team's inability to become a more cohesive unit on the ice and pick up the slack when it has been required has brought with it the first rumblings that change may be required should the Canucks have any kind of plans for hockey in the spring.
The most frequent subject of the cause for change of late seems to be head coach Alain Vigneault who has had a front row spot to watch his faltering squad, who seem to be unresponsive to his suggestions for more collective play.
Five home losses in a row and win less in their last seven home dates is testimony that things are going south in a hurry in Vancouver. Should they continue to keep to the less than successful path that they've taken of late, those rumblings of change may turn into a roar.
Globe and Mail-- Canucks' home woes continue
Vancouver Sun-- A broken home (record)
Vancouver Sun-- Canuck losses putting pressure on Vigneault's job
Vancouver Province-- Sundin: We need to keep puck out of our net
Vancouver Province-- Problems so deep only surgery can fix them