Mike Gillis at a loss to explain Canucks' skid ... but John Tortorella not to blame

Head coach John Tortorella stands behind the Canucks bench during first period action of the NHL's...

Head coach John Tortorella stands behind the Canucks bench during first period action of the NHL's Heritage Classic game against the Senators at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver on Sunday, March 2, 2014. (Carmine Marinelli/QMI Agency)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:03 PM ET

BOCA RATON, FLA. - The Vancouver Canucks have had a rough 2014.

Since Jan. 1, they are 6-17-3 and have dropped from one point out of a playoff spot to six.

It's looking like a pretty safe bet they will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2005-06. A new low point might have been hit Monday night when they gave up seven goals in the third period to the New York Islanders, who were without injured star John Tavares or traded scorer Thomas Vanek, and lost 7-4.

They are 4-12-1 since coach John Tortorella charged into the hallway outside the Calgary Flames dressing room.

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis didn't give Tortorella a vote of confidence Wednesday as he chose his words carefully to avoid adding to the "rumour and speculation," as he put it, when asked if Tortorella, who signed a five-year contract last summer, was safe for the rest of the season.


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