Canucks too aggressive on PK

HOSEA CHEUNG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:39 PM ET

Although the Canucks have allowed four powerplay goals against in their first two games, centre Ryan Johnson isn't concerned just yet when it comes to the penalty kill.

The shot-blocking specialist points the finger towards specific mistakes and over-aggressiveness, as opposed to the team's overall structure.

"When we look at the two games, we really haven't given up a lot of chances," Johnson said Monday. "It's just our breakdowns have been major breakdowns and when they've happened, it's ended up at the back of the net.

"Guys have the right intentions and they want to make things happen. But with the penalty kill, you have to be patient, you have to put the powerplay into bad areas, it's when they make those mistakes that you can jump on them, and get aggressive but we're just doing it at the wrong times right now."

Another area that's important for penalty kill success is winning faceoffs, says Johnson, who currently has a 37.5 win percentage in the circle.

"Especially with the new rules, the faceoff automatically comes back into the defensive zone on the penalty kill, it's that much more important to win possession, and to get the puck down, or else you spend a lot more time in your own end."

The Canucks, who ranked 14th in penalty killing last year, briefly worked on their PK during Sunday's practice and with only one game in eight days, after Wednesday's matchup with Montreal, the team will have plenty of time to perfect their special teams.

"Special teams is so much part of the game, it's the difference between going out in the first round and going all the way," said Johnson.


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