|Luongo faces Canes blitzkrieg
Jason Botchford said that although the team’s performance isn’t up to par, Luongo is stepping up just in the nick of time.
Botchford said, “In his return after a tough loss Friday against Los Angeles, a game in which he gave up three goals on 16 shots, it took all of about four minutes to realize he was back to his compelling, acrobatic, game-changing form.”
"Typically, they always come out strong in this arena," Luongo said. "It got me in it right away. It's something that really helped me out for the rest of the game."
“Luongo was beaten just twice, once by a power-play one-timer in the second and then by a Chad LaRose breakaway in the third that sealed the game. In all, he stopped 28 of 30 shots, a strong effort on the heels of that Kings game,” said Botchford.
"I felt good in the L.A. game, so there was nothing to rebound from," said a defiant Luongo. "Every time I'm in there, I want to play well. I did a decent job [Monday], but I could have been better. I could have tried to get a point at least for this team."
"He was real good," Vigneault said of Luongo. "He gave us a chance and he wasn't the issue [Monday], for sure."
Jason Botchford points out the top five issues surrounding the Canucks after the 1-3 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“His eye was bloodshot and reddened after a Mason Raymond high-stick, but Taylor Pyatt had clear vision after the game,” Botchford said.
"There was no serious damage to my eye," Pyatt said. "You always fear the worst when you first get hit and you lose your vision, but it's cleared up already."
Botchford said, “The motto for the Canucks was supposed to be "more" in every area except penalties this season. It hasn't been working out.”
"The first period, we took a lot off penalties and that seems to be the case every night," Henrik Sedin said. "That's got to stop . . . our penalty killers don't have a lot of juice when it's 5-on-5."
The Full Sixty
"We won a lot of games last year when we didn't play a full 60," Roberto Luongo said. "I don't know if you guys remember . . . lots of times we were not pleased with our effort, but we found ways to win. I think that's what's missing right now -- we're not finding ways to win on a consistent basis."
“The Canucks haven't been able to create much at all off the rush recently. Their scoring chances are few and far between,” Botchford said. “The Canucks need to find a way to get their top two lines going in the offensive zone. The Sedin twins played better than in Columbus, but it still wasn't good enough.”
|THE VANCOUVER SUN
|Frustrated Naslund questions offensive system.
Brad Ziemer said that Naslund is frustrated with the team because there is too much dump and chasing rather than taking the puck into the offensive zone.
Naslund was clearly frustrated after the Carolina Hurricanes skated to a 3-1 win here Monday night and he seemed to question the team's offensive system,” Ziemer said.
“He said the Canucks are too often dumping the puck into the opponent's zone and would like to see the team be more creative in its offensive attack.”
"I think instead of supporting one another or making a play, we're either just flipping the puck out or flipping it in and then have to go chasing after it," he said. "Then it takes 25 or 30 seconds to get it back.”
"I'd like us to have the puck more. I'd like the whole team to have the puck more. If you look at the good teams, they have got the puck. Look at a team like Detroit, that's their game and that's why they are so tough to play against because they are always supporting each other and holding onto the puck."
|No such luck this time
Jason Botchford writes about the Canucks’ struggle to be a challenging competitor as it seems, instead, they are dancing around a four leaf clover.
Botchford said, “After Monday's 3-1 loss to Carolina, Alain Vigneault did some masterful spin-doctoring with comments so positive you half expected him to break out into a karaoke version of Shiny, Happy People.
"I thought we were close," Vigneault said. "I see signs every day of us improving and us understanding more and more what needs to be done. If we can cut down the penalties ... we'll be all right."
“The Canucks did not look at all right early on. They looked like a team that thought getting outshot, outskated and generally outclassed in Columbus worked out so well in a 4-1 win Sunday, they should try it all again less than 24 hours later,” said Botchford.
"We haven't been even close to playing our best hockey," Brendan Morrison said. "You want an example? Early Sunday we're standing around watching as we take three penalties and give up 13 shots on net in the first eight minutes. It was like a blitzkrieg out there.”
"There's definitely the talent to beat those elite teams," said Luongo. "There's no excuse for losing against good teams. What can I say? The (Hurricanes) got a power-play goal. They're a fast team, a good transition team with a lot of skill up front."