Sports Soccer

Canucks say right things as dought drags on

By Hosea Cheung, 24 hours Vancouver

Vancouver Canucks at practice Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. (MARTIN CHEVALIER / QMI AGENCY)

Vancouver Canucks at practice Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. (MARTIN CHEVALIER / QMI AGENCY)

What can be said about this Vancouver Canucks team that hasn't already been said?

The team is in one of the longest point-less droughts in over a decade, having now lost five straight games in regulation. They are struggling immensely to score goals, with the team on pace to finish with 200 this season — just slightly above the franchise low of 192.

And their current top scorers, the Sedins, are on pace to finish with 57 points, which would be the lowest top point-getter to lead a Canucks team since Rod Sedlbauer had 56 in 1978-79.

Oh, and currently sitting eighth in the Western Conference — one point up on the Phoenix Coyotes who have two games in hand — Vancouver is on their way to a 38-win campaign, which would be their lowest since 2000-01 (not including the lockout-shortened season).

But at least they are saying the right things.

"Right now we have a team that are fighting for inches here," captain Henrik Sedin said. "The difference is we're not scoring. Me and Danny have to step up and score goals … it's going to get us out of this drought.

"I know we have a team in here that can play against the best. We got to keep our heads up."

Adds head coach John Tortorella: "I'm not interested in moral victories and all that … but as a coach I have to try to hang my hat on seeing some improvements within our club, within a lot of different structures with a lot of different areas of our game."

The wins — and goals — though still aren't there.

Since the start of 2014, the Canucks have managed just 10 of a potential 34 points.

They are in Montreal Wednesday, to take on a Canadiens side who are sitting fourth in the Eastern Conference.

It will also be a showcase of Canada's top-two goaltenders, just ahead of the Winter Olympics.

After a bad stretch near the end of January, the Habs' Carey Price has two shutouts in his last four starts. Meanwhile, Roberto Luongo has allowed 14 goals in that same stretch.

"We just got to not worry about it," Luongo said of the team's slump. "We just have to think about the process … come up with big saves when they're needed, and that's how we're going to get out of it."






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