Contemplating consistency conundrum

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

If there's any consistency in the Vancouver Canucks this season, maybe it's their inconsistency. Same with the consistency in which the players cite inconsistency as the prime problem. Just ask any player and he's certain to spew the "I" or the "C" words.

"We've been way too inconsistent," opined captain Markus Naslund.

"We haven't played at a consistent level we can be happy with," added Trevor Linden.

Consistency is the ability to maintain a standard or repeat a task without variation. It's also the harmony between parts. Quite simply, the Canucks haven't won or lost with consistency.

The inconsistency conundrum was on display last weekend when the Canucks recovered from a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils Friday night with an 8-1 walloping of the New York Islanders. Todd Bertuzzi had his fifth career hat trick against his former team.

"We know what we're capable of what we can do when we actually work our systems to a T," said Bertuzzi. "It takes commitment and hard work."

After beginning the season 2-2, Canucks launched a six-game winning streak on Oct. 14 against the Minnesota Wild. That was unceremoniously snapped with a pair of losses to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver. Canucks beat the Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets at home before losing a pair in Calgary to the Flames. Colorado beat them Nov. 10, but Vancouver manhandled the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 13.

Canucks put together a nifty four-game winning streak beginning with the Boston Bruins - the first eastern opponent at GM Place in 2005. That quartet included a home shootout victory over the then-first place Ottawa Senators and a pair of road tilts with the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers. Then they proceeded to go 1-8 - including a 4-1 loss to the lowly St. Louis Blues.

They'll need to find consistency this week when the Buffalo Sabres visit Thursday and the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday. Those two teams are going different directions in the same division.

The brief homecoming ends in time for a seven-game road trip starting with back-to-back games Monday in St. Louis and Tuesday in Columbus, ending with a pair of consecutive nights in Alberta on the first weekend of February.


Videos

Photos