“The Canucks need to make a trade.”

“They should fire the coach.”

“Vancouver should axe the GM.”

Oh, yes, “they should also dump both goalies.”

“The Canucks STINK.”

These are not my words, but those of many fans that like to express their opinion on social media or on sports talk shows.

A current 6-game losing streak where the team has been outscored 29-11 will get the vultures out.

There is nothing like passionate fans, especially when through no fault of their own, they have not been allowed to attend the games.

It is frustration.

After winning a play-in series and the official first round of the playoffs last year, there was a lot of hope for this season’s Canucks team, even though they lost key players; notably goalie Jacob Markstrom, and defenceman Chris Tanev to the Calgary Flames.

Markstrom is excelling against his former team.

He made 33 saves Thursday to lead the Flames to a 3-1 victory in Vancouver.

Markstrom is 3-0 against the Canucks this season, stopping 92 of 95 shots.

The Canucks are nearly one-third thru their 56-game regular-season schedule with 17 games played, more than any other team.

What I find puzzling is Vancouver’s lack of grit and competitiveness in most of its games.

Of their 11-losses, eight have been by three goals or more and the other three have been by two goals.

The Canucks record of 6-11 is poor but their record of 3-11 against teams not named the Ottawa Senators is awful.

Something isn’t right, but a trade, a firing of a coach/and or GM, or some other desperate move is not the answer, at least not during the season.

Think about it.

Who can Vancouver deal (that is not a core young player) that will bring a decent return?

Certainly not Jake Vertanen with his one point in 12 games.

While defenceman Quinn Hughes has been an offensive magician with a team-high 17 points in as many games it is alarming he has the worst plus-minus on the team at -13.

In fact, all of the top players on the team are a minus.

The goalies, Braden Holtby and Thatcher Demko have been like the rest of the team, shaky for the most part with an occasional good game.

The Canucks have surrendered more goals than any other NHL team.

If you get rid of Holtby and Demko who is going to tend the net?

Do you really believe 21-year-old Michael Dipietro can be the saviour?

Coach Travis Green and GM Jim Benning may not be the best at their jobs in the league, but they have shown on occasion to be credible.

I realize Canucks fans want a good season, which means at least a 4th place finish in the Canadian Division plus winning the first round of the playoffs.

While still early, chances look bleak.

They are already five points out of a post-season spot and all the teams they are trying to catch have winning records and fewer games played.

If the Canucks miss the playoffs, is it really a big deal?

This is a shortened COVID-19 season that has a restricted schedule in a division that likely will not exist next year.

In addition, there is no atmosphere in the near-empty arenas.

The first Canucks report card of the season would have failing grades, however, panicking is not the answer.

Maybe more games against the Senators is what’s needed to turn things around.


FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Tom Brady tossed the Lombardi trophy between boats to TE Cameron Brate during the Buccaneers water parade on the Hillsborough River. Good thing, Brate caught it. Otherwise, NFL refs would have called a passenger on a nearby boat for pass interference.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Boxer Leon Spinks has passed at 67. During in-processing at St. Peter’s Gate, he demanded to know why he never received a visit from the Tooth Fairy.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

A husband and wife sitting courtside in Atlanta got ejected because they pulled down their masks to heckle LeBron James. Or, to put it in basketball terms, a moving-screen violation.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/


IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT

The 11th-ranked woman at the Aussie Open is Belinda Bencic — surname pronounced “bench-itch.” Bench itch may be what Columbus coach Jon Tortorella has Patrik Laine suffering lately.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 the Goat radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca