Canucks need to act, and fast
The fumbling Vancouver Canucks need to shape up and act if they want to strengthen their chances of making the playoffs this season. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO)
It may be time to dust off your golf clubs.
The Vancouver Canucks need about 20 wins in their final 34 games to secure a playoff berth. Even that may not be enough to avoid a gloomy spring in Canuckistan.
The Canucks are amid their annual January slump with just two wins in 10 games; four losses in regulation, three by shootout and one in overtime. They were 6-8 (including one shootout loss) in December after finishing November with a pair of losses to the Calgary Flames.
That's just eight wins in their last 26 games or a lousy .307 winning percentage. They're 22-26 (7) overall and sinking fast.
Mats Sundin has scored twice. Three of his penalties led to game-losing goals.
Since returning from a groin injury, Roberto Luongo has been sloppy.
The decision to send these players to work cold has its roots in simple economics: Keeping bums in seats and eyes glued to the tube. Who would want to watch this dull team without the two stars?
The Canucks need to make the playoffs in 2009. Club and arena owner Francesco Aquilini and his brothers are real estate tycoons. The bubble has burst. Playoff dates, however few there may be, could help them through the recession.
Without playoff dates, budget-conscious ticket subscribers are bound to lose patience and cancel before next fall.
A bold move is needed quickly, whether it's replacing head coach Alain Vigneault or trading for more offence or another blueliner. If rookie GM Mike Gillis waits until the March 4 trade deadline, it could be too late to save the season.