When Lars Eller found he had been credited with the goal the Vancouver Canucks put into their own goal in the second period the one question he wanted answered is whether or not he gets a plus for being on the ice when his team scored. Because after all he wasn’t in fact on the ice when it went in. And while you could thus argue the Canucks scored one more goal than the one they were credited with Saturday night with their three-way passing play in their own zone we’re finally down to what figures to be this team’s real problem this season. Their fabled follies aside they look like they’re going to have all kinds of difficulty scoring enough goals against decent teams. Shots are fine makes the stat sheet look better but you need goals. Coach John Tortorella was again so in search of combinations that looked like they might get a sniff five-on-five that he went back to the old proven dead end of putting Jannik Hansen with the Sedins something that Alain Vigneault spent five seasons proving was an absolute lost cause. Yet it seems to be in this organization’s DNA as they go back to it over and over again like an elephant finds its graveyard. While admittedly the number of options is limited if you’re going to move Mike Santorelli away from your only scoring threats you have to put Zack Kassian with the twins in the absence of Alex Burrows. As soon as Hansen gets with the Sedins he forgets he’s the guy who got to the league and stayed here with hard work and thinks of himself as a playmaker-goal scorer. And that self-delusion is about as laughable as assigning that same description to Chris Higgins who continues to generate shots — including those to the face of Habs defenceman P.K. Subban in the third period but no goals. With Kesler showing signs of life but not scoring unless there’s a ton of offence coming from the back end or the twins are having an exceptional night offence is going to be a dream. Brad Richardson is clearly incapable of generating any kind of consistent offence as a centre and ditto for Zac Dalpe. And now the new coach faces the prospect of taking this flawed lineup on the road where the opposing coach will have his choice of when to put out his top two lines.
Line combinations still eluding Canucks
Montreal Gazette | Oct 13