Vancouver lost 2-1 in a shootout last night against the San Jose Sharks.
The Canucks sandwiched solid 1st and 3rd periods around an ugly 2nd that resulted in San Jose peppering 25 shots on Roberto Luongo.
The 25 shots given up in the 2nd period were three shy of the team record set back on February 25th, 1972 against the Boston Bruins.
The Canucks have scored one goal or less in four of their last seven games, struggling to find secondary scoring.
But it’s not for lack of trying.
“Most of these guys have gone through times in their career when they've scored and other times when it's been a little more challenging and we have some guys in that second phase right now,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “With the right attitude and right work ethic things usually come around.”
The Canucks have shown surprising resiliency in spite of the scoring slump, garnering points in four of their last six games, and sporting a 2-2-2 record over that span. Not exactly a slump for most teams in the NHL.
“We were bound to lose a couple games, it’s not the end of the world said Kevin Bieksa, “It shows the expectations are higher around here now, we’ve had a couple losses here and we don’t feel good about ourselves right now”.
“There are peaks and valleys throughout the year and we have keep working, stay positive and focused,” added LUongo. “We’ve been through a lot over the years; we’ve grown a lot as a team.
The game featured the return of former Canuck Kyle Wellwood to Vancouver. Wellwood was innocuous during his debut with the Sharks, registering one shot and no points in 10:34 of ice time.
The Canucks are 2-4 in shootouts this season.
Up next for the Canucks: a home matchup against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. Vancouver leads the season series 2-0, outscoring the Flames 10-2 in the process.
During this morning’s practice coach Vigneualt skated Aaron Volpatti on the 4th line with Tanner Glass and Jeff Tambellini. Mason Raymond moved back up to the 2nd line, while it looks like recent Moose call up Sergei Shirokov will sit in the press box for Saturday’s game.
Shirokov’s benching is more a sign of the need to dress toughness against a physical opponent than a commentary on his play.
“I think right now it has to do with the makeup of our lineup and the opposition,” said Vigneault. “We’re going up against a team tomorrow that’s very big, so we want to get a little bit bigger for that game.”
The defensive pairings will remain the same, with Aaron Rome and Andrew Alberts still out of the lineup week-to-week.