The longest road trip of the season is seriously driving the season towards a cliff. Of course, it's too early to panic but three losses in the first three games of a brutal seven-game trip is worse than the reviews for the latest Vince Vaughn train wreck.
The strange thing is the special teams have been solid. The PK unit is killing penalties at an 84.2% clip and the PP is cashing in 30% of the time. The problem is the Canucks can't seem to draw enough penalties (10 PP chances thru 3 games) and take too many (19 PP chances for the opposition) so the advantage is a wash (3 PP GF, 3 PK GA). Each game the Nux have given up at least one PP goal which could be construed as the difference in the past two one-goal losses.
The reality is a combination of that and poor defensive play. Given Roberto Luongo is out, the D needed to step up to give both Curtis Sanford and Son a chance. The Nux have been outshot 98-75 through the three games.
This is not out of the norm for the Nux as the team does get outshot on the road on average by about four shots a game (26.9 shots for per 60 mins vs. 31.3 shots against). The problem is our captain is not in net to save our back bacon. The D, especially Willie "-4 on this trip and counting" Mitchell, need to step it up.
With no rest after a tough loss to the Wings and having to play Minny tonight, followed two days later by a game at altitude in Denver, it doesn't get any easier. Is there any chance the Nux could use that Mats Sundin cap space and steal another player from Florida in Jay Bouwmeester?