The Vancouver Canucks ceded the Northwest Division lead to Minnesota Monday night with a 3-1 loss to the visiting Wild.
“Obviously, we are trying, we’re working hard, but we are not winning,” goaltender Roberto Luongo told reporters after that loss. “When that happens, sometimes guys tend to press a little bit and that’s not always a good thing.”
What’s wrong with these guys? Plenty, as you can see by going down the checklist:
Vancouver has been inexplicably bad with the man advantage. The Canucks went 11 consecutive games without a power-play goal before snapping the 0-for-36 slump Monday night. Heading into that game, they ranked third from the bottom in 5-on-4 shots on goal per 60 minutes.
The goaltending tag team of Luongo and Cory Schneider faltered and the Canucks didn’t have a Jake Allen to save the day. Luongo lost Monday night, so the Blues will see Schneider tonight.
This team lacks supplemental scoring. No. 2 center Ryan Kesler was healthy only briefly this season. Winger David Booth (sprained ankle) and Zack Kassian (sore back) are among the other casualties.
The Canucks are weak on the draw. They won only 21 of 65 (32 per cent) of their faceoffs against the Wild. “This game is about puck possession and if you always have to chase the first 20 seconds of a shift it’s tough to create anything,” center Henrik Sedin told the Vancouver Sun.
For more on the Canucks and the NHL, check my piece on STLToday.com.