Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 1/20/12
Canucks All Access The Vancouver Canucks currently sit second overall in the Western Conference but noticed an increase in competition over the past week, earning only three of a possible six points against the Blues, Ducks and Kings.

The Canucks emerged victorious in a battle for temporary Western Conference supremacy last Thursday but were immediately humbled by the Ducks in a pitiful two-goal loss three days later.

Alain Vigneault’s skaters struggled from the comforts of Rogers Arena this week, icing two poor performances that didn’t deserve the loser point earned Tuesday against the Kings.

With all the necessary talent in place to build towards another lengthy playoff run, the Canucks must focus on consistency moving forward.

While Roberto Luongo is clearly capable of stealing points for his team here and there, the goaltender can’t be the only man determined to protect Vancouver’s current nine-point lead over the ninth place Minnesota Wild.

Around the Rink

Optimistic fans and members of the media may have been more comfortable blaming fatigue for Vancouver’s recent struggles; however Head Coach Alain Vigneault had other thoughts, specifically regarding Ryan Kesler, when addressing his team’s performance earlier this week.

“He’s got to use the players around him a little bit more so he can get into open space and create the type of offensive chances and be the defensive player he can be,” Vigneault said regarding Kesler.

Boy, did that start a story about a whole lot of nothing.

Kesler’s less-than admirable response to Vigneault’s criticism created a 24-hour media spree surrounding the fictitious controversy, only to be buried by the Head Coach days later.

While anything can become a story in a hockey-mad market like Vancouver, a little anger when times are tough can go a long way.

Personally, I’m happy the Canucks are unhappy about their recent play.

State Of The Canucks January 19th

In the Infirmary

David Booth returned to action Sunday against Anaheim but did little to inspire his team in a disappointing 4-2 loss to the Ducks.

Two days later Booth converted a slick cross-crease pass from Jannik Hansen to push his team into overtime against the Kings, earning the team an extra point in a shootout loss.

Sami Salo is progressing steadily under the NHL’s concussion protocol after having his bell rung in a notorious hit by Brad Marchand earlier this month.

The Canucks called up defenceman Chris Tanev from the Chicago Wolves on Wednesday after struggling without Salo in the lineup earlier this week.

In The Community

Every Kids Dream

Skate with your heroes and stand alongside the starting lineup of your Vancouver Canucks. It’s “Every Kid’s Dream” presented by Save On Foods and Heinz. Find out how here.

Canucks First Strides

First strides is coming to Rogers Arena, February 16th! BC novice players learn the fundamental skills of hockey, develop friendships, practice fair play, fitness, safety, teamwork and the importance of a positive attitude.

Go to canucks.com/firststrides or call 604-899-7771 to register today! Read more here.

Whats On Tap This Week? NEXT 5
Date vs Last Meeting 1/21/12 SJ L 2-3 (SO) 1/2/12 1/24/12 EDM W 5-3 12/26/11 1/31/12 CHI L 1-5 11/16/11 2/2/12 DET W 4-2 12/21/11 2/4/12 @COL W 6-0 12/6/11 CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!

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Post tags: Alain Vigneault, Canucks First Strides, Canucks hockey blog, Canucks Injury report, Canucks news, Canucks Team Store, Chris Tanev, David Booth, Every Kids Dream, Gossip, injuries, Injury Report, Jonathan Quick, Mike Gillis, News, Roberto Luongo, Rogers Arena, Rumors, Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Canucks blogs

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