Vancouver Canucks: How Letting Teams Back in the Game Will Hurt Them

John BainCorrespondent IIDecember 21, 2011

VANCOUVER, CANADA - NOVEMBER 29: The puck rolls off the handle of the stick of goalie Cory Schneider #35 of the Vancouver Canucks after making the initial save as Jeff Carter #7 of the Columbus Blue Jackets looks on during the first period in NHL action on November 29, 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images

Over the Canucks 12-day road trip out east, they were plagued with allowing their opposition back into games when they had the opportunity to close them out. Not all of these instances resulted in Canucks losses, but going forward they will need to close teams out to keep in the winning column.

Often an issue with the Vancouver Canucks is their lack of urgency. They have displayed several times in the past that once they build a lead, their lack of urgency and pressure to keep building diminishes, and they allow opportunities to the opposition to claw back into the game and swing the momentum. 

This especially seems to happen against lower-tier teams, be it Carolina and Columbus this season, or the St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers of the past. If you cannot close out a struggling team, what makes you think you'll be able to do so come playoff time. Speaking of playoff time, the inability to control and win games against these teams has cost the Canucks before, namely in the 2005-'06 season when the Canucks missed the playoffs altogether by just three points. Many blamed the Canucks losing all four of its meetings with the Blues that year, a team that finished dead last in the NHL that season with just 57 points.

This is not to say the Canucks lack of urgency late in games will cost them a playoff spot this season, they are too strong of a team for that, but it could hurt them in the seeding process or even within a series. The Canucks can seem too comfortable sometimes and as a fan it is never good when your team is feeling "comfortable." You want your team to constantly be on their toes and aware. 

Although the other side of the argument can prove the Vancouver Canucks are among the best at team urgency when they find themselves behind in a game, they need to bring this philosophy into their game when they are in the lead as well. Should they do this, it could be another strong year deep into the spring for the Vancouver Canucks this season, but should they not; it could be a tough ride.


John Bain is a Bleacher Report Featured Columnist

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