Originally written on Rob The Hockey Guy  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Gettyimage.ashx_url_http_3a_2f_2fcache.gettyimages.com_2fxc_2f93928076.jpg_3fv_3d1_26c_3dewsasset_26k_3d2_26d_3d77bfba49ef878921cc759df4ebac47d0572e9fde671070f967ed4632cce22d0a3b3fc56ac3354c57
The Canucks are officially at the halfway mark of this lockout shortened season and something is clearly wrong with this team. This doesn’t resemble the team that won two straight President’s Trophies. Something is missing from the 2010-11 team that showed so much moxie, so much swagger, and more importantly, so much talent until it all fell apart in the Stanley Cup Final. So what’s wrong with this team? Lets investigate… Injuries The Vancouver Canucks are not the same team without Ryan Kesler, plain and simple. He does everything for this team, and any time without him is going to be felt. It’s also not a coincidence that the team’s worst slump of the season has come with Kevin Bieksa injured. But these are excuses. A Stanley Cup contending team can and should overcome injuries. The 2010-11 team had injuries galore. Just look at the games played totals for these key players: Salo (27), Edler (51), Hamhuis (64), Bieksa (66), Burrows (72) and Malhotra (72). Depth The Canucks were able to get by in 2010-11 with a whole bunch of injuries because they had better depth than this team. The Canucks are well positioned to withstand an injury to a goaltender (probably better than any other team in the league) or a winger, and to a lesser extent a defenceman. The problem the Canucks have right now is they are not deep at all at centre, and that’s where their injuries are most prevalent. In 2010-11 the Canucks had Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler for the entire 82 game schedule. Malhotra played in 72 games, and when he was injured they had Maxim Lapierre to step in. Even when Malhotra was in the lineup this season, he was a shadow of his former self. Jordan Schroeder has shown poise at the NHL level, but he’s basically Kyle Wellwood (nifty plays, defensively responsible, but no offensive production despite power play time). The Coach Is Alain Vigneault’s message falling on deaf ears? Is his message the right message? Should he be let go? I’m not crazy about letting go a coach with only 24 games left to go in the season, and I think the Canucks need to let AV ride this out. They have made their bed, now they have to lie in it. Making a change now would be a tall order for the new coach. With 24 games left to go in less than 2 months, a new coach would have very little time to implement major changes. But it’s now or never for AV. The Power Play The Canucks’ power play is 22nd in the NHL right now. That’s remarkable when you consider how good their power play was for such a long time. The biggest problem with the power play right now is that they don’t have enough shooters on it. What I mean by that is they don’t have enough threats to score from the outside with shots that blow a goalie away. The 2010-11 power play had three excellent shooting threats: Alex Edler, Christian Ehrhoff and Ryan Kesler (even though he spent most of his time in front of the net). For the moment, Kesler and Ehrhoff have been replaced with Burrows and Schroeder. That’s not the whole story, but it’s a big part of the story. The Sedins need players with hard shots to keep the other team honest. If other teams are petrified of the big shot from the point, that will open up things down low for Daniel and Henrik. They aren’t as good as we think they are Probably the biggest problem with this team is that they aren’t as good as we think they are. Their defense is commonly thought to be one of the best in the NHL, but is that reality? It doesn’t seem like it this year. It certainly isn’t as good on paper as Boston, Chicago or Los Angeles. It’s arguable if they’re better than San Jose or New York. On paper, it’s a solid group. The Sedins are excellent players, but they haven’t played like Art Ross Trophy winners in a couple of seasons. Even when Ryan Kesler returns, he probably won’t be the same Selke Trophy winning 40 goal scorer like he was in 2010-11. I know that’s a scary thought for most Canucks fans and it scares me too. So what’s wrong with this team? Well, a lot of things. They need to get healthy, they need their top players to play better, and they need their depth players to play to their potential. When all of those things don’t happen, you get a whole lot of mediocrity.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift, blames media for scrutiny

Report: Cowboys could limit DeMarco Murray's touches

Lakers announce Steve Nash to miss season with back issues

Is Mack Brown the best option for SMU?

Jeremy Kerley on new contract: 'Bentleys for everybody'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Buss: Any FA who won’t play with Kobe ‘probably a loser’

NFL to start airing its own anti-domestic violence PSAs

Ex-Bronco John Boyett punched cabbie, told cops to call Elway

Former NFL QB still feels effects of concussions every day

Robert Klemko given four-week suspension from The MMQB

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

NFL teams facing potential must-win scenarios in Week 8

WATCH: Jeremy Lin poses as Adidas employee for prank

WATCH: Peyton screams at fans to 'shut the f- up!'

Father auctioning off infant son's soccer club allegiance

Love thanks T'Wolves fans in essay for not burning his jersey

WATCH: Browns WR 'kicks out' son over favorite player snub

Memorabilia dealer wants Todd Gurley reinstated immediately

Aaron Rodgers gave girlfriend Olivia Munn a 'special ring'?

The 10 college football programs with most to gain in Week 9

Most disappointing potential dynasties of divisional era

WATCH: OHL hockey coach goes off on reporter: ‘F*** you!’

PK Subban as Michael Jackson at Canadiens' Halloween party

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

On Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and embracing newfound roles

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.