Even though they’re facing one of the weakest teams in the league in Anaheim on Sunday, the Canucks can’t have another sleepy effort if the want to have a chance to win.
Vancouver Canucks (30-33-5, 6th in Pacific) at Anaheim Ducks (23-36-10, 7th in Pacific)
5 p.m., Honda Center
TV: Sportsnet. Radio: AM650
The Vancouver Canucks had no business winning Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.
You are reading: Canucks Game Day: An energy boost is needed in Anaheim
But Thatcher Demko, as he so often has in the last two-plus years, had other plans as the Canucks won 3-2 in a shootout.
He made 38 saves to keep his team in the game and the Canucks, who had just six shots through the first two periods and were flirting with the all-time club record for fewest shots in a game (eight, against New Jersey on Dec. 18, 1996), somehow pulled out a shootout win.
But for the second game in a row, the Canucks’ energy level was low. Thursday in Arizona, which the Canucks lost 3-2, head coach Rick Tocchet called his team’s effort “sleepy.”
Readmore : KRYK: U of T students are finalists in sports analytics’ ‘Big Data Bowl’
Even though they’re facing one of the weakest teams in the league in Anaheim on Sunday, they can’t have another sleepy effort if the want to have a chance to win.
Standing on his head
The Kings shoot from everywhere, so it’s not a surprise they put up a big shot total (40) on Saturday.
The overall trend, though, is not good for Vancouver. That was the fourth time in eight starts since Demko returned Feb. 27 from a groin injury that the Canucks’ No. 1 goalie has faced more than 30 shots in a game.
Backup Collin Delia is likely to start Sunday and he’s a very competent netminder, but he’s no Demko when it comes to standing tall night after night.
The Canucks have played well enough defensively many nights under Tocchet, but consistency has been a struggle.
Readmore : Menacing charge against Bengals’ Joe Mixon is dismissed
It’s not a new notion that the Canucks simply have to give their goalie more of a chance on a nightly basis if they’re going to be a playoff team next year.
Elias Pettersson scored the tying goal Saturday, extending his points streak to seven games.
He has nine points in that stretch. The last time he was pointless was March 2 against Minnesota.
Pettersson has 27 points in 18 games since the All-Star break.
He has seven points in the two previous games against Anaheim this season, including five points in that wild 8-5 win in early November.
He’s also picked up 11 points in the 10 games he’s played on the second night of back-to-back contests.