No. No, it is not. I know, I know, everyone is focused on the next week where the Canucks have to focus on “Blues, Kings, Ducks”… but look beyond that. Just a little further… The end of January consists of: “Coyotes (away), Flames (home), Oilers, (away), Predators (home), Coyotes (home), Oilers, (home), Blackhawks (home), and Jets (away) to close out the month of January.
We’ve had 3 games now where the Canucks were out… everything for the most part. And yet, we’ve stolen points in games we should have lost – with, might I add, Roberto Luongo side-lined for two of them. Eddie Lack has most certainly proven his worth against the Ducks and Penguins and the Canucks don’t play again until Friday – a home game against the Blues.
True, the Blues terrify me slightly. They absolutely crushed the Kings on Thursday 5-0… possibly why the Kings played with such an edge on Saturday, now that I’m thinking of it. They’ve won 8 of their last 9… That one loss going to Calgary (?!!!) in a shootout back on December 23.
But then we have another California road trip, with added detour of Arizona… and I hope Luongo is back by then. The Ducks on the 15th and the Coyotes on the 16th begins the first of two back to backs we’ll see before the end of January. The next one won’t be until Coyotes and Oilers visit on the 26th and 27th, respectively.
I did some very loose predictions, trying to figure out games we should win. If everything goes the way I say it should, the Canucks should round out the end of the season with somewhere between 105-110 points… What does that mean? Well, ignoring last year (stupid lockout), back in 2011-2012, they finished the season with 111 points. Further back, in 2010-2011, they finished with 117 points.
Now hockey is topsy-turvy and you never know what might happen – we’ll probably lose some games we should have won and win some that we should have loss, but the sky is not falling. All accounts are that Burrows and Edler should be back in the near future. And as much as I miss Stanton on the blue line, it appears (or maybe it was just my eyes these last couple of games) that our defense is settling down. Do boneheaded mistakes still happen? Of course. But it’s not as bad as it appears on first glance.
So, take a breath, prepare for a tough week ahead, but relax in the knowledge that the pieces are all there and eventually they’ll start clicking – and that the Canucks have a slightly easier schedule after the next three games.