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What Needs To Be Done In December



I don't think that there are many Canucks fans who would have predicted that the team would have been only two games over .500 at the end of November. A repeat of last year's 'November to Remember' certainly would have been preferable. Sure, they've suffered through some injuries, including Roberto Luongo, but pretty much everyone is back now, save for Pavol Demitra.

Considering the fact that the Canucks will have a 14 game road trip extending from the end of January until March coming up in about 8 weeks, it's time to consider what needs to be done before they embark on what's probably going to be one of the weirdest time frames in the team's history.

Since the 2000-01 season, or thereabouts, the Canucks have had a tendency to have a so-so first two or three months of the season, and then once the Christmas holiday passes, they wake up and go on what occasionally turns out to be a monster of a tear throughout the NHL, racking up huge numbers of wins. It doesn't happen every year, but when it does, it sure is fun to watch.

The Canucks need to get on another streak like that this year. Although, this time, it's one that they have to focus on making a reality. A lot of times, huge streaks happen for no apparent reason. Picture last seasons' two back to back streaks. They had the longest losing streak in team history in the month of January, and then turned it around and didn't lose again until late February or early March. There's no reason to suggest what magically happened between January 31st and February 1st, but whatever it was, the Canucks rode it for all it was worth.

But back to this year. The Canucks need to make their points NOW, and December 2nd is as good a time as any to start going on a tear. No one expects the Devils or the Flyers to roll over and hand the Canucks any victories, but they need to win at least one of those two games to get their focus right for the balance of the month. Obviously, two would be better.

After that, games for the rest of the month are ones that the Canucks should win if they play the way that they're capable of playing. Hurricanes. Predators. Kings. Thrashers. Wild. Ducks. Blues. Oilers. Coyotes. The exceptions are the Caps and the Flames. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that any team is going to be an easy game. But these are teams that the Canucks should beat three out of four times they play them.

I have a feeling that if the Canucks can go 10-5 in the month of December, barring any disasters, they'll be fine for the balance of the season. If they go 8-7, they'll probably have to play lights out for the rest of the year. Yeah, it's only a two game difference, but it's mindset, y'know? Anything less than .500 for the month means that it could be a long limp to the finish line in my opinion.

So, let's hear it Canuck Nation. Agree? Disagree?


Regular postings, including game recaps, are also available on CanuckNation.ca - your feedback is always appreciated.


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