Tuesday, March 21 2023

Things have not gone according to plan for the Vancouver Canucks in 2022-23.

After a disastrous 0-5-2 start to the season, the team owns a 3-6-3 record that is good for sixth place in the NHL’s Pacific Division. The results have been poor but how the Canucks have been losing games is of particular concern.

After blowing their fifth multi-goal lead of the year in Saturday’s shootout loss to the Nashville Predators, Canucks president Jim Rutherford vented his frustrations with the club’s performance, dating all the way back to training camp.

“At this point I would have expected better,” Rutherford said in an interview with Dan Riccio and Satiar Shah on Sportsnet 650. “I didn’t like our training camp and how we continued into the early part of the season. In order for us to become a better team we have to play with a stronger system and really be more accountable for some of the things that some of the players are struggling with.”

“We’re at a point now where we have to make players more accountable and we’ll have to take the necessary steps to get players’ attention.”

Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau is already on the hot seat. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau is already on the hot seat. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau is already on the hot seat. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

The blown leads have been particularly upsetting for Rutherford, even though he understands how hard it is to defend in today’s NHL.

“The fact it has happened as many times as it has in this short period of time, it’s a major concern and something has to be fixed,” Rutherford said. “When you’re winning 3-0 in your own building and you have the goaltender that we have and the players that we have we should not lose that game.”

Rutherford did not give an endorsement of head coach Bruce Boudreau when asked if the team “had the right personnel behind the bench,” which will only fuel speculation that the 67-year-old is on the hot seat.

Boudreau took over from Travis Green midway through the 2021-22 season and turned the Canucks’ season around, guiding the club to a 32-15-10 record over his 57 games at the helm. He has not been able to recapture that magic this year, and time might be running out for him to right the ship.

Vancouver is about to begin a five-game road trip Tuesday night in Ottawa. It sure feels like a make-or-break stretch of the schedule for Boudreau and Co.

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