With their top lines not producing, their goaltending looking spotty and their special teams non-existent, finding somewhere to lay the blame in Canucks land is pretty easy.
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My share of blame would be sent to 2 areas: D and Penalty Killing.
The Canucks have long been one of the best penalty killing teams in the NHL. They were top of the league 2 years ago and did fairly well last season. A quick look at the stats, though tells you that they are now losing games because of it.
Few of their players are in the minus right now. With over 20 goals surrendered, this is because opposing teams are scoring like gangbusters on the Power-play.
Though Edler and Mitchel have one of the better +/-, they have given up a collective 9 goals on the PK. Ohlund has not been much better and has been on ice for 9 opposing goals.
Aside from the penalty killing, there is little production coming from the D. Over 6 games, the D together have scored a total of 2 goals and about 2 points per game. As the Canucks have been averaging a little under 3.5 goals (10 points) a game this needs to get better.
In truth, yes, the top lines have not been on fire. However whatever they were lacking has been more than made up for by the 3rd line. The Canucks have never put up a ton of goals but are currently in the top 10 for goals per game; even with an abysmal powerplay. The PK an goals allowed is where things have to change. Vanek cannot be allowed the time to hang out on the goalies doorstep for a neighborhood chat and the Canucks are goingto have to learn to kill penalties again before this team can get back on track.
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