More lousy luck for 'Nucks

BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS VANCOUVER

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

It's beginning to look a lot like last year.

The 2008-2009 season is almost two weeks old and the problems that plagued the Vancouver Canucks in 2007-2008 are reappearing.

The Canucks have only two goals in 29 power-plays so far, including just one in their last 21 attempts.

Sunday was the first three-for-one game of the season with Sami Salo (groin), Darcy Hordichuk (knee) and Pavol Demitra (ribs) going down. Call-ups Matt Pettinger and Kyle Wellwood are about to display the organization's lack of depth.

Roberto Luongo ended last season with a dismal 1-7 record and got rewarded with the captaincy in the pre-season. He's not handling it well so far. After a 6-0 season-opening shutout over the Calgary Flickers, er, Flames, he allowed 16 goals in the next four games. The official, perennial spin is that he is a notorious slow starter. Can we leave the pre- season excuses in pre-season?

The Canucks' three wins are actually one regulation win and two in overtime. Good on them for scoring in sudden-death and avoiding the shootout, but they allowed Calgary and Detroit Red Wings to have a charity point each. With fewer games against Western conference rivals, this can come back to haunt the Canucks in April.

Audio and picture problems spoiled Sunday's first period pay-per-view experience for many, just like it did on several occasions last season. It was also the second consecutive pay-per-view loss of the young season. Buyer beware, shall we say?


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