The Vancouver Canucks have dealt with their share of struggles,
though few teams have been playing worse than the New York
After an up-and-down road trip, Vancouver begins a three-game
homestand Sunday night against an Islanders squad which is winless
on the road.
Vancouver (8-8-1) likely envisioned a better start after its run
to the Stanley Cup finals last season. The Canucks have yet to put
together more than two consecutive victories after finishing a
3-3-0 road trip with a 4-3 loss Friday in Anaheim.
Vancouver fell behind 4-0 after two periods, and a third-period
rally in which it outshot Anaheim 22-2 fell short.
”In the third period, we played the way we should play and
showed how good we can be,” said Daniel Sedin, who had two assists
and is among the league leaders with 16. “In the first two periods,
we weren’t good enough. We should play the whole game like we did
in the third period.”
Aaron Rome didn’t help matters when he received a game
misconduct and five-minute major for a hit on Anaheim’s Devante
Smith-Pelly, as Vancouver allowed two goals during the
second-period penalty kill.
Rome likely will be considered a repeat offender when the league
reviews the hit, which could lead to a suspension. The defenseman
knocked Boston’s Nathan Horton out of the finals with a hard hit in
Game 3 and was suspended for the rest of the series.
Roberto Luongo allowed four goals on 19 shots Friday before Cory
Schneider replaced him to start the third period, and it’s unclear
who will start this game. Luongo is 4-7-2 with one tie and a 3.00
goals-against average in his last 14 appearances against the
Islanders, which drafted him fourth overall in 1997.
No matter who gets the nod, Vancouver seems to have a solid
chance of bouncing back against struggling New York (4-6-3).
The Islanders are 1-5-3 in their last nine games after blowing a
three-goal lead in a 4-3 overtime loss to Colorado on Thursday. The
defense allowed 51 shots to reach goaltender Al Montoya, who made
47 saves but committed a high-sticking penalty in overtime which
led to a power-play goal.
“When you get a couple goals scored on you, you tend to seize up
and that’s what we did,” said Brian Rolston, who scored in the
loss. “That’s the time when we need to be confident and make
confident plays with the puck. We didn’t do that. That’s something
that needs to be stressed.”
The loss dropped the Islanders to 0-3-2 on the road, marking the
second time in three seasons they’ve lost their first five away
New York had lost seven of eight in Vancouver before winning the
last meeting there 5-2 on March 16, 2010, behind two goals and
three assists from John Tavares.
He also scored in the Canucks’ 4-3 shootout victory in the most
recent matchup Jan. 11, when Daniel Sedin had an assist to give him
two goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak versus
Daniel’s twin brother, Henrik, has identical statistics against
New York during that span.