After winning 7 out of 8 contests, the Vancouver Canucks have finished their 5 game road trip with three straight losses. After picking up a single point in a shootout loss to Carolina, the last two games were especially tough for the Canucks. First, we saw them fall to the Boston Bruins 4-0 and lose Elias Pettersson to a day to day injury. Then just yesterday, they gave up 3 first period goals to the Minnesota Wild and were never able to catch back up, eventually falling 4-2. Consecutive losses are part of every team’s NHL season, but it’s all about how you respond, and not letting the losses snowball past 3 or 4 games is very important. Fortunately for Vancouver, they’ve been great at home this year and find themselves up against the Flames in Rogers Arena for a huge divisional tilt on Saturday night. This is a game that could give them a ton of momentum and get the ship right back on track.
Additionally, the hometown team got a little lucky while they were losing games and still find themselves at the top of the division. The rival Oilers have lost 2 straight, including a game where they blew an early lead to the Sharks, while the Flames have lost 4 of their last 5. Now, the Canucks have a 6 game home stand, and 4 of their 6 games are against non-playoff teams. If there was any time for them to make a statement and take more control of the Pacific division, the time is right now. With how close the Pacific is, these games could seriously be the difference between a top seed and a wild card spot. It’s that time of the year where every game matters, and hopefully the Canucks can step up to the challenge and put themselves in a great position for the home stretch.