Posted January 29, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Maintaining early leads has been a struggle for the Vancouver Canucks, contributing to them squandering important points in the lockout-shortened season.
They haven't had much trouble earning points in recent meetings with the Colorado Avalanche, though.
Vancouver looks to take at least a point in an 18th straight matchup by winning a seventh consecutive home meeting against Colorado and its struggling special teams units Wednesday night.
The Canucks (2-2-2) have held multiple-goal leads in four contests, though three ended up being decided in a shootout. They've dropped two games in the shootout, including 3-2 at Los Angeles on Monday after allowing the tying goal with 43.2 seconds remaining.
Giving up extra points to Western Conference foes may affect Vancouver in the 48-game sprint toward the playoffs.
"It's a short year, and you want to bank as many points as you can," said Robert Luongo, who made 26 saves in losing his second shootout. "We were in control and it's disappointing."
Vancouver started 2011-12 slowly as well, going 2-3-1 before winning the Presidents' Trophy for a second straight season.
"We've got to learn how to close these games. We've been letting teams back," center Henrik Sedin said. "I think in the big picture we'll be a good team (in those situations), so we've got to be strong in those areas in the last few minutes of the game."
The Canucks have been solid in recent years against Colorado, going 15-0-2 in the last 17 matchups.
They are 0 for 10 on the power play in their last two games but should have a good chance to pounce on an opportunity against an Avalanche team that has allowed opponents to go 7 for 12 with the man advantage in back-to-back defeats.
Colorado (2-3-0) allowed four power-play goals in Monday's 4-1 loss to Edmonton and has dropped its first two of a four-game road trip after losing 4-0 to San Jose on Saturday.
"We put ourselves in short-handed situations again," coach Joe Sacco said. "We've allowed seven power-play goals now in two games. That's not good enough. The overall game was not good enough as well. We have to pick it up on our special teams, there is no question. And one goal in two games isn't going to get you many points."
P.A. Parenteau scored his team-best third goal for the Avalanche, who have converted only 1 of 15 chances on the power play.
"We have to figure out (special teams) because I don't think we've played that bad of a game 5-on-5," Parenteau said.
Colorado has had a problem scoring on Vancouver in any situation no matter who the Canucks have in net, registering two goals or fewer in each of the last seven meetings.
Luongo is 10-0-2 with a 2.24 goals-against average in his last 12 starts in the series, though Cory Schneider, despite a 3.13 GAA in four starts this season, may get the nod Wednesday.
Schneider is 4-0-0 with a 0.65 GAA in his last five appearances - four starts - versus Colorado. He hasn't allowed a goal in his last 155-plus minutes facing the Avalanche, including a 43-save, 1-0 victory in the most recent meeting March 28.
It's unclear if Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will be cleared to play. He sat out Monday after taking a massive hit Saturday from San Jose defenseman Brad Stuart, who received no disciplinary action from the league.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
A look at the rook
Just thought I would check in and take a quick look at Canucks rookie Jordan Schroeder. Schroeder was called up to the Canucks almost as fast as he was sent down.
After two disappointing games with Andrew Ebbett as the second line center, master juggler and lozenge enthusiast, Alain Vigneault did a little line juggling.
Included in that juggling was the call up...
That Can’t Be Good
Vancouver Canucks goalie in the wings, Eddie Lack, has had successful hip surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. Lack, who signed a two-year, two-way deal this summer with the Canucks, has been out since November with hip related issues.
Mike Gillis said in a statement on the Canucks website today:
“After consultation with our team physicians, it...
Best & Worst Nucks
It may be an unusual season in terms of length in this post-lockout world, but aside from that it’s yet another year and yet another slow start for the Vancouver Canucks.
However, unless the uncertain tangle the team is in gets unravelled mighty quick this year could be done and dusted. The middling start for the team matches the indifferent performance of...
For the week of January 20-27
The Vancouver Canucks‘ first week (and a bit) of the new shortened NHL season is in the books. Entering Monday the C’s owned a record of 2-2-1 and sit near the middle of the pack in the Western Conference. The reduced number of games in this lockout-altered season means that each game matters that much more than in typical years.
If you’re a Canucks...
Home, Sweet, Home
The Vancouver Canucks are back at home for a quick two game home stand, which sees them play host tonight to the Colorado Avalanche tonight and the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.
Here then are my Canucks gameday tips for how to put a W in the win column tonight.
Glass Half Full
The California road trip that saw the Canucks play three games in four nights probably...
Last night was full of disappointment for the Canucks, but the compressed schedule means it’s a fresh sheet of ice tonight in Los Angeles. There lie the Kings, who eliminated the Canucks last year. LA is struggling, having finally picked their first win on Saturday.
Matchup: Vancouver Canucks (2-2-1) v Los Angeles Kings (1-2-1)
Venue: Staples Center
Time: 7:30 pm
Roberto Luongo made 24 saves for his first win of the season and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Wednesday night.
Luongo, who has been on the trading block since Cory Schneider replaced him as Vancouver's No. 1 goaltender, was rarely tested but still made some big saves in his 61st career shutout.
With the Canucks leading 2-0 in the third, Luongo stopped...
For The NHL Gamblers!
Headline: Canucks In LA Monday Looking To Climb Over .500
You can forgive the Canucks just a little bit for their 5-1 Sunday loss in San Jose – nobody has come close to beating the Sharks so far in this young season. On Monday night, the Canucks take on the LA Kings, a team that has stumbled out of the gate – a 4-2 win last time out over Phoenix Saturday...
There is nothing new to report on the Roberto Luongo trade front at the moment. The same holding pattern is in place, with the Canucks not coming down on their demands. It is STILL all about Toronto, despite the scuttlebutt that Florida, SJ, Wash, Edm, Chicago, Ottawa are all dipping their toes in trade offers.
The Canucks keep waiting on the bidding war to develop (AKA, Toronto...
By Bill Kellett
No one in the city of Vancouver thought they would ever see Roberto Luongo in net again for the Vancouver Canucks. Yet, there he was between the pipes in the first game of the season.
He took over in relief of the newly anointed No. 1 Cory Schneider after possibly his worst game in professional hockey.
One game later, there he was again drawing the starting...
Follow me on twitter @IanEsplen to chat hockey, sports and life in general anytime
Flat, nonchalant, disinterested, ordinaryâ¦ are all words that could describe most of the Vancouver Canucks play last night.
But one man stood tall and the team got the bounces to earn a point they had no business getting.
This game must have been like old times in Florida for Luongo...
The official word on restricted free agent Ryan O'Reilly's negotiations with the Colorado Avalanche is that the two sides remain at an impasse. However, my feeling from day one in his situation has been that an offer sheet from another team would be the only way he could fetch nearly the contractual price tag he and agent Mark Guy have set.
He isn't going to "...