Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 3/19/12
Ripe for the Picking

You have to hand it to the Minnesota Wild. They have singlehandedly dropped off the face of the NHL planet since November 1 when they were in 1st place in the NHL.

This wouldn’t be the first time in history that’s happened but for a city like St. Paul, this has been even harder and Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo summed it up in four simple words this week in an interview with the Star Tribune’s Kent Youngblood.

He said, “We cannot accept this.”

It’s kind of funny how coaches and players and fans are saying this here in Vancouver and the Canucks are comfortably sitting in 2nd place in the West; not 3rd last.

Minnesota is a hockey hotbed; something you can’t really say about many other American markets and the fans have proven that. So far this season, they’re home attendance sits at 98.3%; an average of 17,763 fans per game.

Anyways, the point is we take our team’s superiority for granted. Sure, it is unacceptable for this team to be losing and struggling so much but still, it’s not as big a deal as we make it out to be in the big picture.

Win in Minny + Win in Chicago = Slump Bumped

So heading into Monday’s barn burner to be against the Wild, what can we expect to see from our beloved Canucks and those pesky Minnesota Wild?

Still Struggling Canucks

Just when it looked like the Canucks might run away with it Saturday night, Columbus stuck around like a really ugly red-headed step child.

Our boys in blue and green may have secured two points, but did they bump the slump? I think not; and they sure as hell better not think they did.

As I said in my pre-game for Saturday’s tilt, it would have been better to lose and have nowhere to go but up. Also, that way, the team wouldn’t have any false confidence. You beat the last place team; congratulations.

While it will be a slightly tougher matchup in Minny, I can’t say with a straight face that a win would count as bumping the slump. The Canucks have to win Monday and Wednesday against Chicago for me to say they’ve wumped that slump in the rump.

That being said, they should win, but it will be another all too agonizing victory when it’s all said and done.

How bout that Alex Edler end to end goal eh?

Sup with Lu and Schnu

It’s not been determined just yet who will play between the pipes Monday, but patterns tell us it will be Luongo. Although, we shouldn’t be surprised if it’s Schneider given that he’s started very few games lately.

Support goes a long way; especially between these two.

Either way, they are both part of this team’s struggles as of late. Roberto Luongo hasn’t been fully to blame in our losses but he has let in a few softies and been out of position on several occasions. Also, he has a rebounds issue. More rubber has been bouncing off him than Jenna Jamieson.

Cory Schneider looked pedestrian against CBJ and even though he has won 9 of his last 10 starts, Saturday was the first time he’s let in more than two goals since January 31st against Chicago. For him, that was 8 games ago. For that to happen against Columbus; pretty frustrating.

Should you be concerned?

As the rest of team gets going again and the defense starts actually playing defense, Schneider and Luongo will regain their form as well. While they haven’t exactly looked themselves, they have been hung out to dry many times and that won’t last forever.

Keep the faith.

Burrows is Ticked Off

During the broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada, they showed a clip of Alex Burrows standing by the bench, supposedly listening to what the Twins were talking about with Raymond.

Don’t think twice about this; Burrows is angry. He needs to prove to himself he’s 1st line worthy again because as of late, he hasn’t looked it. Granted, the whole team has played like crap and Coach Vee shuffles more than LMFAO, but Alex hasn’t been Alex.

He’s got 6 points in his last 12 games; not good enough if this team hopes to go on a deep playoff run. That being said, if Burrows keeps playing like he has on the 3rd line, my thoughts are he’ll see the 1st line again, especially come Game 1 of the playoffs.

Monday night against Minnesota; the 3rd last place team in the West; is once again, another perfect opportunity to break out much like his former linemates in the Twins have done the last two games.

BEST BET TO WIN: Vancouver Canuckleheads

Puck drop is at 5PM on Sportsnet Pacific and TEAM1040 Radio


© Vancan19 for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

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Post tags: Alex Burrows, Canucks Blog, Canucks Clubhouse, Canucks Matchups, Canucks Preview, Canucks vs. Wild, Canucks vs. Wild Gameday, Canucks vs. Wild Preview, Cory Schneider, game 72, Minnesota, Minnesota vs. Vancouver, Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks, NHL, nucks, Roberto Luongo, Rogers Arena, vancouver, Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Canucks vs. Minnesota Wild, Vancouver vs. Minnesota, Wild Preview, Wild vs. Canucks, Wild vs. Canucks Gameday, Wild vs. Canucks Preview

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