To simply describe the Vancouver Canucks season as "bad" would be an understatement.
But assuming that's the word we're sticking with for now — how bad was it, you ask?
For one, it got their president and general manager axed, as Mike Gillis was fired last week for failing to improve a club that has just one playoff win in three seasons, including a complete post-season miss this time around — three years removed from a Stanley Cup final appearance.
Their temperamental head coach could also soon follow Gillis out the door. John Tortorella was ineffective in reviving this veteran core, instead implementing a new style that had the majority of his players drop off in production or even post career lows.
That led to one of the worst offensive outputs in franchise history — even more shocking considering they were ranked first overall three years ago and fifth two years ago.
"It's not a good feeling for us right now," defenceman Kevin Bieksa said Monday. "The bottom line is if we win more games, guys don't lose their jobs. It's a tough time for everybody ... but right now we look at ourselves first and foremost and think we could have been better, we should have been better."
This season, the Canucks scored the fewest goals ever as a club with 191 (excluding the ones the league awards for shootout wins), and is ranked second worst in the NHL.
It's also the first time in Canucks history they only have one 20-goal scorer in a non-lockout season and Ryan Kesler's 25 tallies are the lowest total by the team leader since the franchise's inaugural season.
"It's shocking to me," forward Chris Higgins said. "Since I've been here, it's not easy to score goals, but we made it look easy with the way we're putting up points. So this year with injuries to key guys and maybe a lack of confidence because of those injuries, it was really difficult to score goals."
Vancouver's second half to the campaign was atrocious, winning just nine times in regulation through 41 games as they finished with 83 points — the lowest total since 1999-2000 when there weren't shootouts involved.
"We were a really good team up until halfway through the season," Henrik Sedin said. "You never want to use injuries, but we had a tough season injury-wise. We had to play a different way and we weren't able to win."
Vancouver was also 26th on the power play and ninth on the penalty kill — the latter at one time this season was sitting first overall.
Their rookie goalie was thrown into the No. 1 spotlight, their highest-paid defenceman Alex Edler finished a league-worst minus-39 through 63 games, and star centre Ryan Kesler wanted out — but who knows if that's still the case with new management?
Questions will continue to swirl around Tortorella and a number of players, while debate will rage on as to what new president Trevor Linden should do in order to quickly bring this team — which is mired by nine no-trade clauses — back to contending status.
"There will be changes," Henrik said. "But it's not about rebuilding. We showed this year we can still play with the best. There needs to be some changes, that's fair. It's not about starting over, it's about making the playoffs next year and I honestly believe that's going to happen."
While the players, like Bieksa, claim to still believe in the core group — adding "we're all in our prime" and doesn't buy that the core is too old — Tortorella wasn't exactly on the same page with the perspective.
"I felt from Day 1 that it's stale," the coach said. "This is a group that has been together a long time. It needs youth, it needs a change. We have to stop talking about 2011, the team needs to be retooled.
"We need to surround them with enthusiasm, youth, and build that way and you're going to get back to where you need to be. Some of the core needs to change, yes."
That said, though, Monday's post-mortem at Rogers Arena also had a sense of motivation to bounce back next season.
"We take responsibilities for what happened," Henrik said. "We have something to prove next year, and that's a good feeling."