beginning of year if we were going to make the playoffs

  • Three points to ponder as the Canucks’ power play continued to fizzle and Willie Desjardins did his best to prop up his club after a 2 1 overtime loss Sunday to the Devils at Rogers Arena


    The guide goes something like this Be harder on your team when it wins, be more supportive when it loses.

    Willie Desjardins attempted to point out the positives after a rare loss on home ice 15 7 2 . There was the encouraging play of Nikita Tryamkin to trumpet and the steadiness of Troy Stecher in a season where Alex Edler and Chris Tanev were sidelined by injuries, Ben Hutton is out four to six weeks with a hand ailment after blocking a shot and Erik Gudbranson is sidelined long term following wrist surgery.

    “I expected our players to be tired after a two game road trip and it was good to get a point — we could have come out with nothing,” Desjardins started. “And with all the injuries we have Bo Horvat Jersey, it says a lot about this group.”

    That’s one way to put it. Nobody is going to dispute the effort and the Devils give you nothing through the neutral zone and Cory Schneider is playing his best hockey of the season this month. But where do they go from here to prop up an offence that has a league low 20 first period goals?

    Desjardins said getting a healthy Anton Rodin in the lineup is a priority and that waiver wire claim Reid Boucher will have to wait to make his Canucks debut. But they aren’t going to make a big difference. A better power play will.


    The post game queries came quick What the hell is wrong with the power play that entered the night at a paltry 13.4 per cent efficiency and headed into 12 per cent range after an 0 for 3 outing that generated but three shots? Why not switch it up?

    “You don’t think we should ride it at 12, eh?” Desjardins responded when asked about his alignment. “It’s a pretty good first unit and guys can score and I believe in them. They’ve scored their whole career and we’ll go with it a while longer.

    “We’ve made some changes with it and our structure. I said at beginning of year if we were going to make the playoffs, the power play would have to go. None of those guys are happy with the way it’s going. But that’s our best group and shuffling it around and mixing it up will take three to four games to get it going.

    “I’m prepared to see what they can do and I’m not going to change it for three or four games.”

    The first unit of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Brandon Sutter, Sven Baertschi and Troy Stecher present the usual options. The Sedins love the re direct, Sutter is supposed to get feeds in the slot for one timers and get to the net. Baertschi is supposed to bolt down for backdoor options and Stecher is supposed to get pucks through.

    “We made a little adjustment with our formation but we have to do a better job down low and coverging and getting some greasy goals,” said Sutter. “We have to find a way to close out games in overtime.”


    Henrik Sedin is diplomatic, patient and encouraging. It comes with the territory of being the accountable captain. Here’s his take on the power play problems

    “We didn’t get it set up and that hasn’t been the problem this year,” he said. “Tonight , we lost faceoffs and our breakouts weren’t good enough, so that was the big problem. It’s easy to talk about, but it’s tougher to go out there and get things done.

    “We have to keep looking at things and be positive. Power plays are one thing you can’t force. Try plays and it’s easy to get away from that and just move the puck around, but you don’t get the pucks to the net or try that extra play. Sometimes, you need to do that to get that chance.”