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BRAVEMAN91

Canucks Saving "big Push" For The Right Time

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If you have followed the team closely the last few seasons you will know that they will always have a big slide and a terrible loss which dominates the radio talk shows with angry Canucks fans.

Then suddenly the switch will be flipped and the team will come out and play like gangbusters and rack up the wins by the numbers.

I can go as far back as Brian Burke having a meeting with his team and promising to keep them together if they could turn it around.

When the team wins you instantly forget about that brief blip in they're performance.

I would love to compile a total team record to see what they're record is after massive slump, where the team would come out and be one of the leagues most dominant teams again.

I guess the point of the this thread is that Finally/Hopefully this team will start they're BIG PUSH at the right time of the season. There is no better time then April for that Big push and for the sake of all Canucks fans, it better be monstrous!

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Yeah lol I remember this, I also remember Naslund saying " We choked" When they tried hitting that switch and it failed:)

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I was just about to start a topic about not saying that the team is trying to take it easy before the playoffs to prevent injuries, fatigue, etc, etc. People who think this are crazy, they are athletes, they are not going to suck to keep "healthy". Either way the Sedins, Kesler etc are playing 3 periods and have to skate around, the only way they would be preparing for the playoffs is if they didn't play at all (which is counter productive because you lose timing, chemistry, etc....look at what happen to the Caps couple years back when they rested their top players). If they aren't scoring or putting up points its because they are actually not performing and not because they are saving themselves for the playoffs.

If the team was going to "coast" into the playoffs to not be banged up and because we are going to have second place in the west anyways and so on and so forth, that attitude is not very evident in the locker room. Hank just pretty much said they're in a slump, AV is obviously not happy, so he splits them up. People who think, they are okay with second in the west and are playing conserved so they can bring it in April need to give their head a shake!!

The team wants to win, Hank/Dan and everybody else is trying to put their best game on the ice and right now they can't produce because they are actually getting shut down and not because they are waiting for the playoffs to start to really "turn the switch". They are trying to turn the switch as we speak and the switch isn't turning!

But people will still insist that the team is holding back so they have a deep playoff run. Preparing for that starts now, not second week of April!

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Mentally they're in a funk right now. Feeling like there's nothing to play for. They are pretty much guaranteed to finish in the top 2 in the west. They can't go down and they can barely move up. They could play hard and fight for 1st in the west/league but why bother? What good did that do last year wasting all that energy down the stretch just for some meaningless presidents trophy

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I think they're just playing possum right now.. that and positioning. A second President's Cup would be nice, but not necessary.

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I think they're just playing possum right now.. that and positioning. A second President's Cup would be nice, but not necessary.

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You can't just "flip the switch" and come out of a funk. If you could, I would think that it would have been flipped after the Dallas debacle. The Canucks are struggling to find an important goal lately and they are not getting consistent goaltending. Luongo has not been good enough in his last 3 starts, plain and simple.

They boys played better last night but a couple of eggs were laid by a couple of key performers in the 3rd period when it counted.

:towel::canucks:

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I won't start really worrying until we are under 10 games remaining and things haven't picked up. I think seeing those single digits in games remaining should jumpstart the guys.

I really think they have gotten away from the "one game at a time" philosophy they had last year and are looking forward to how tough a long playoff run is going to be. and managing their energy levels based on that. We say we want to model ourselves like Detroit... well they coast into the playoffs every year in neutral (with the regular "Lidstrom Flu") and have managed a pretty good level of success.

It is fine if you peak at the right time near the end of the season, but they have to be careful not to miss having a long run by looking past their first round.

They may have had this long break until Wednesday marked on their calendars as the "start of the playoff push". Lets hope they each get a couple of days off now... and it lets their brains kick into a new gear when coming back.

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I vaguely remember them playing like crap this time last year as well. Sure, they were further ahead in the standings, and pretty much had the PT wrapped up, but they were sleepwalking through the games and didn't wake up until round one. Am I nuts?

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I vaguely remember them playing like crap this time last year as well. Sure, they were further ahead in the standings, and pretty much had the PT wrapped up, but they were sleepwalking through the games and didn't wake up until round one. Am I nuts?

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I think in the short term losing Hodgson did create a bad effect where 3rd line and 2nd PP offense is down. However, if Kassian can pick it up offensively then the effect will be offset. In the playoffs I think it's anybody's game. Last year the Canucks had the advantage of depth due to great salary cap management. This year most teams managed the cap well and depth is mostly a level playing field.

Management fought hard to get a more advantageous schedule down the stretch and that's where we are right now. Last year AV seemed uncomfortable about the team slacking off down the stretch whereas this year it's managing rest/workload which is smarter.

I think the team is trying but I think they have another gear as well. Not worried yet.

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the extra gear is not being used right now. they look like they're really making sure no injuries happen during the remaining of the regular season games.. they're just coasting; if they win, they win, if they lose its ok since they can't go down from #2 in the conference.

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I know the team is really focusing in the playoffs and all, but as fans it's just really frustrating. I mean, think about it, what if you were one of those people who spent $300 a ticket only to see them turtle up and play without any passion. It's plain frustrating. What are we fans going to cheer about from now until the playoffs? Nothing. Becuase our team feels they have nothing to play for.

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There is one thing that's got me worried about the Sedins.. and I've noticed it all the way back to last year.. an incident in the playoffs I believe. For a while there, it seemed like being made Captain had gone to Henrik's head. At least when it came to talking to Daniel. One game, Henrik had skated to the bench, and if I remember correctly.. he shouted to Daniel to dump the puck and come to the bench. After that incident.. they haven't really been talking to each other on the bench, rarely look at each other on the bench, and at certain times.. Alex, or whoever their linemate has been, has sat between them on the bench. Even when they celebrate a goal.. they don't look at each other. There's been times Daniel skates right past Henrik after scoring.. happened last year in the playoffs too.

And they didn't look too friendly at the All-star game either.

I really hope I'm just seeing things, and that they are "not" having a brotherly spat. But their body language really says something's not right.

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I know the team is really focusing in the playoffs and all, but as fans it's just really frustrating. I mean, think about it, what if you were one of those people who spent $300 a ticket only to see them turtle up and play without any passion. It's plain frustrating. What are we fans going to cheer about from now until the playoffs? Nothing. Becuase our team feels they have nothing to play for.

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I'd be worried about the Sedins if they were actually trying but they don't seem to care right now. The effort is not there

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Scoring slump will pump up Canucks

BY JASON BOTCHFORD, THE PROVINCE MARCH 8, 2012

Flashback about a year ago. The Boston Bruins got scorched on March 19 by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

They had poor defence, spotty goaltending and looked slower than pond water.

That 5-2 loss was the Bruins' sixth in seven games. The chances of doing something in the playoffs? Trending in the wrong direction.

"They would be fortunate to survive a first round in the postseason, never mind challenge for their first Cup since '72," one writer put it then.

A lede in the Boston Globe read: "OK, it's official, the Bruins are a mess."

You know what happened next.

Maybe that's why Henrik Sedin isn't sweating, despite the Canucks' current affair with mediocrity. Henrik believes there can be a tendency to overreact in Vancouver.

"It feels like we're the least worried guys in this city right now," he said. "I think it's good that it happens now."

Good? How can wilting like a lily ever be good?

The Canucks' first line is in its worst crisis since the lockout. Henrik Sedin is pointless in 10 of 13 games and Daniel in nine of 13. They have one assist to show for their past six games, combined.

The last time the Sedins had this many problems putting points on the board, it was December 2003, and they were barely getting Cody Hodgson minutes.

"We were borderline second-line players and that was the last time," Henrik said.

"I'd be worried if we were going five games in the playoffs and we had one helper between us. It doesn't really matter if we put up 100 points or 80 points once we get into the playoffs."

And to think the Sedins aren't the only issue right now for a complacent team that continues to run away with its division and is just a win away from taking over the lead for the President's Trophy.

The second line is in perpetual flux, retooled yet again Wednesday when Chris Higgins was reunited with Ryan Kesler and David Booth.

The power play is MIA, having taken most of 2012 off. It's so bleak that Marc-Andre Gragnani, who couldn't crack Buffalo's lineup, was tapped to lead the first power play unit.

"You can't deny the fact that since the Boston game, it's been in the bottom third of the league," head coach Alain Vigneault said of his power play.

"It's not getting the job done, and we're very aware of it."

How can any of this be good, Henrik?

He actually has an interesting answer to that one.

But first, some history. The Bruins are hardly the only champion to suffer from motivational issues in February or March.

The Hawks lost eight of 11 in March before winning it all. Nearly the same story for Sidney Crosby's Penguins. They lost 7 of 11 in February, then won it all.

The Red Wings most-recent cup team lost 10 of 11 in February. And the Anaheim Ducks may be the best example of all, losing 17 of 25 in an ugly, post all-star performance that was forgotten by the time they hoisted the cup in June.

Many who looked at the pattern have assumed these are great teams who got off to wonderful starts, lost motivation, sagged badly and just flipped a switch for the postseason. But that's not how Henrik sees it. He thinks the slumps are integral teaching moments.

"It's not about turning on a switch. You can't do that. We can't do that," Henrik said. "A lot of times, when you keep winning and winning, you're not looking for things you can do to be better.

"When you start losing, you start looking at things really closely. You work really hard and look for options and alternatives. You battle. You work harder. You get better.

"When you work through those things, it helps you. The adversity helps you, big time.

"Look how it's worked even in the short term. When we won the Olympics in 2006 [with Team Sweden], we struggled early on. We looked at our game closely, we changed things and we got better and better."

Team Sweden won gold that year despite losing to Slovakia 3-0 and Russia 5-0 in the preliminary round.

"It was similar to Canada here in Vancouver in 2010, they struggled early on," Henrik said. "They lost a close game, changed things and improved.

"Sweden, we didn't change anything [in 2010]. We won early and when we hit the adversity wall we had nothing to fall back on. We were a little lost.

"That's why, I think what we're going through right now [with the Canucks] is a good thing.

"Now is better than later."

Well, he's got that part right.

The Canucks haven't been terrible. They've been neither good nor bad. They are 3-3-2 in their last eight, which is surprisingly similar to a 5-5 run they went on almost a year ago to the day.

But this is an experienced team keenly aware it has to be at its best in mid-April, not mid-March. And having a huge lead for the second seed in the Western Conference and having a playoff spot virtually locked down is comforting.

"It gives us time to work ourselves out of this slump," Henrik said. "You can take care of yourself in the gym and work toward being at your peak when you need to be at your peak.

"If we were fighting for a playoff spot right now, this would be a really, really tough stretch.

"We're not happy where we are, but we have time to get out of this."

Tick tock.

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Naslund was always good at leading the team to another choke. And making excuses for underperforming. The fact that his number is in the rafters is a sad commentary on the history of this franchise.

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