VANCOUVER – The Silver Linings Playbook was a success on the field workplace, but it surely’s not exhibiting so properly for the Vancouver Canucks.
The Nationwide Hockey League group has had a handful of silver linings whereas dropping video games the final month. However the purpose these ethical victories do not get any consideration is as a result of the Canucks have been a colossal flop within the massive image.
They have been strong on their three-game homestand, which ended Sunday with a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in a sport through which Vancouver outshot the guests 40-24 and may have received by a few targets. Earlier than that, the Canucks beat the Winnipeg Jets, they usually have been main the mighty Colorado Avalanche within the third interval the sport earlier than when Vancouver self-destructed with penalties and its lack of ability to kill them.
Three good video games. One win.
And now they head again on to the highway, the place they have been crushed earlier in November, to open a five-game journey Wednesday towards the suddenly-hot Pittsburgh Penguins, who simply swept their very own three-game roadie by an combination rating of 11-1.
Some form of ethical victory feels extra possible than an actual one, but it surely’s completely the latter the Canucks want after profitable simply six of their first 19 video games.
Silver linings are for dropping groups.
“I appreciated a variety of our sport the final three video games at dwelling, however did not like that we did not win,” coach Travis Inexperienced stated Tuesday on a Zoom name with reporters after the Canucks practised in Pittsburgh. “Our complete focus proper now could be, individually, we have to play our greatest. If we get people to play their greatest, collectively we’ll be rather a lot higher as a gaggle. We have to search out methods to win hockey video games.”
It’s not simply that the Canucks have as many people not at their greatest as they’ve gamers who’re that’s the drawback for Vancouver, however that a number of of their foundational gamers are foundering.
When the season began, it was inconceivable that Elias Pettersson might go into Recreation 20 nonetheless in search of his first even-strength objective, or that Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat – three of the group’s top-four forwards – would mix for a single help of their final six video games.
This disappearance of high gamers neatly encompasses the final, alarming highway journey, which introduced the Canucks into disaster, and the unsatisfactory homestand that adopted and did little to quell the unrest amongst sad followers.
Sure, there are the silver linings: J.T. Miller’s willpower to maintain scoring and driving the group whereas the search continues for lacking teammates, the play of newcomers Conor Garland and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, defenceman Quinn Hughes and goalie Thatcher Demko, even faint glimmers of bettering particular groups.
However because the Canucks have proved: this isn’t practically sufficient.
“I’m going again to this rather a lot — being trustworthy along with your group,” Inexperienced stated. “We’re not sitting there sugar-coating issues. Confidence can come in several methods. Having inside perception in your self is an enormous a part of it, and being excited to face robust challenges is a part of confidence, too.
“Once you’re a very good participant on this league, you have to have a very good perception in your self. And when issues aren’t going properly, you face it and look it within the mirror and dig in. We have to work. When you work, it is simple to be assured. Once you work extraordinarily laborious, confidence comes from that. And it does not should be essentially scoring or highlight-reel targets. It is simply enjoying properly and enjoying laborious and enjoying for the group to win. And that is a very good begin for getting confidence again if you do not have it.”
Inexperienced should deal once more with the absence on the highway of second-pair defenceman Travis Hamonic, ineligible to cross the border till 14 days have handed since his second COVID-19 vaccination.
Hamonic, who returned to the Canucks on the finish of October, is anticipated to affix the group earlier than the highway journey ends. Inexperienced could have the choice Wednesday of utilizing rugged defenceman Luke Schenn, who suffered a lower-body harm on Nov. 5.
The trail forward for the Canucks is daunting.
Already seven factors out of a playoff spot within the Western Convention, and with the Pacific Division wanting a lot stronger than many consultants predicted, the Canucks most likely want the factors equal of at the least 41 wins from their remaining 63 video games.
After Pittsburgh, they play video games in Columbus and Boston earlier than crossing the border to complete the journey in Montreal and Ottawa.
“Everybody is aware of the place we’re,” Hughes stated. “On the identical time, we won’t have a look at (the standings) and get down and really feel sorry for your self. You simply should suppose positively and simply fear about what you’ll be able to management, and that is the subsequent sport. Attempt to get this subsequent sport after which take it from there.”
“Be able to go tomorrow,” Inexperienced stated. “I feel, individually, our gamers must carry their greatest sport. Collectively, that goes a great distance when everybody’s on high of their sport. We’re enjoying a group that is been making an attempt to win a Cup right here for whereas and has acquired a couple of already. And it will be a tricky sport, but it surely’s a very good place to begin on the highway.”
Whether it is, Pittsburgh would be the first good place the Canucks have discovered.