Monday, September 24, 2007

The Canucks' sputtering offence

Got a call from my old man earlier tonight, and as per usual, we talked a little hockey. I generally get pretty good local tidbits on the Canucks and Blazers from friends and family, the kind of stuff that doesn't quite reach us out here.

Dad's a B.C. guy, born and raised, and has been a Vancouver fan since pretty much Day 1. He was watching in '82 and '94, and even during the unwatchable years ('07), and usually has a pretty good handle on the buzz around the team, even during preseason.

This year, so far anyway, it's not good. Something called Canucks TV has been showing the games, and I guess Saturday's was particularly ugly.

Vancouver was outshot 37-10 in a 3-1 loss to the Sharks.

Of course, it's preseason, the Coyotes are 3-1-1, T.J. Hensick leads the league in scoring and Craig Anderson has been the NHL's top goaltender. Jeremy Roenick even scored on the power play.

A lot can change when the games start to mean something.

The Canucks were a middle-of-the-pack team in shots on goal last season, so this isn't really a pattern, but an inability to generate offence certainly was. Vancouver was 28th last season in 5-on-5 goal scoring and, inexplicably, failed to add a single weapon up front over the summer.

They may win, and compete for the Northwest Division title again, but I don't think this is a team that's going to give Dad much to talk about this season.

It's too bad we're not from Pittsburgh.



At 3:33 a.m., September 24, 2007, Blogger The Puck Stops Here said...

Last year ('07) was an unwatchable year? Then what would you call the Mike Keenan or Harry Neale years?

At 9:22 a.m., September 24, 2007, Blogger Matt said...

Yeah, if '07 was "unwatchable" for a team that reached the 2nd round of the playoffs, you have some high standards.

At 9:40 a.m., September 24, 2007, Anonymous said...

I expect they will score enough to compliment Luongo's Vezina Trophy into one of the better years in Vancouver's history. But you are right, their offence won't be exciting to watch.

At 11:46 a.m., September 24, 2007, Blogger sager said...

man, 10 shots? Who do they think they are, the 2000-01 Leafs?

At 11:56 a.m., September 24, 2007, Blogger Chemmy said...

man, 10 shots? Who do they think they are, the 2000-01 Leafs?

Well, like the 00-01 Leafs the Canucks lost in the second round of the playoffs, though the Leafs forced a game 7 instead of bowing out in five.

At 12:02 p.m., September 24, 2007, Blogger Benjamin said...

As a Pittsburgher who was following the Pens while living in California during the awful 03-04 and 05-06 seasons, I know your pain. Hey, at least with the Canucks you don't have to say that Dick Tarnstrom was ever the top scorer on your team!

It's so nice to have the Penguins be the envy of the league now instead of the joke. So keep heart - at least the Canucks have some solid players to work with, unlike the 03-04 Pens...

At 12:43 p.m., September 24, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

The '07 comment is a joke, fellas.

At 1:12 p.m., September 24, 2007, Anonymous Jeff said...

All this handwringing in the preseason?

Guys, the Canucks had 6 regulars from last year dressed, against an almost full Stanley Cup champion lineup.

Take a deep breath.

At 2:48 p.m., September 24, 2007, Anonymous stan_the_caddy said...

against an almost full Stanley Cup champion lineup.

Did the Sharks win a Cup while I was in that coma?

At 6:08 p.m., September 24, 2007, Anonymous jeff said...

I was at the Ducks game last night, so I was thinking of that performance (where they were shut out). Mirtle's post seemingly applies to both games.

But even to take your point - getting upset in the preseason is silly. The Canucks have less than half a lineup playing. So what if SJ has a similar lineup full of prospects? The result is meaningless, and does not bear on how the season will go.

Talk to me next week and then we can lament the real lineup's lack of scoring (if any of them are actually healthy enough to play).

At 9:27 p.m., September 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No joke, the Canucks were absolutely unwatchable last year. Anybody who lives out here - well, those not suffering from glaucoma - could tell you that. Especially compared to the high-flying Crawford years. If "watchable" is the Canucks prevailing in the single most boring playoff series in the history of hockey, before bowing out to the Ducks, your standards for entertainment are way, way too low.


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