With an 0-2 record to start the season, the Vancouver Canucks return home to G.M. Place tonight, looking to record their first victory of the 2009-10 campaign as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m. PT, SNET).
The Canucks currently sit 26th in the league's penalty-kill rankings. They have allowed four powerplay goals against on nine shorthanded situations for a 55.6% kill rating, tying them with the Detroit Red Wings. Only seven other teams have been shorthanded more than the Canucks this season.
"I never question our work ethic or our intensity. Right now, it's about our execution," said coach Alain Vigneault yesterday. "I think our passing is off, and that's leading to turnovers and those turnovers right now are hurting us."
If there's one area to look positively on, it's in the shots department. The Canucks have directed 77 pucks (second in NHL) on opposing nets so far. The bad news though is that Vancouver hasn't been finishing most of those shots. One of the main culprits of that is Daniel Sedin, who leads the team with 12 shots and has no goals to show for it.
Vancouver practiced yesterday with the same forward lines they used in both losses to Calgary and Colorado, and Vigneault did not hint at whether he'll mix up the combinations for tonight's game. He says a decision will be made today.
Columbus won three of the four matchups between the two teams last year, including one in a shootout. Of his 14 career games against the Blue Jackets, Roberto Luongo has six wins and four shutouts.