Kevin Kraczkowski (Matchsticks & Gasoline): Vancouver is usually in the running for the President's Trophy, but if the season were to end today, they'd be seeded seventh in the West. What has contributed to the dropoff?
Sean Zandberg (Nucks Misconduct): It seems as though there are so many answers to this question. Mike Gillis proclaimed he was hitting a reset button after the Canucks were easily bounced out of the 2013 Playoffs, again. So he brought in John Tortorella. Tortorella's system is different than Alain Vigneault's on many fronts but most noticeably the more defensive style of play and the pressure put on the opposition in all zones. It took the players a long time to get it as a whole, and sometimes it still feels like they are trying to adjust. It appeared they figured it out in December, going 10-1-2. They looked like they could beat anybody at that point. But then January is happening. They are 1-5-2 in January. Missed assignments, blown leads, lack of goal-scoring, lack of chemistry and execution. Another really big eye-opening sad is the inability to beat San Jose, Anaheim and L.A. The Canucks are 0-7-3 against those 3 teams this season. They can't seem to contain the bigger forwards.
M&G: Is Roberto Luongo slipping?
NM: The least of our problems is goaltending. I don't look at goalie statistics on NHL.com and draw conclusions from them like the idiot mainstream media does. Roberto Luongo has been quite stellar. Is there a regression there because of his age? Minimal at most. He did make the Olympic team starter position again after all.
M&G: Speaking of ex-Panthers, I couldn't help but notice that your second three leading scorers (Santorelli, Garrison, Higgins) used to play there too. Anyone else down there you've got your eyes on?
NM: I have lost count how many ex-Panthers are on the team! We call them our farm team. You didn't mention David Booth or Roberto Luongo! There were several others that have come and gone as well. If I was eyeing another Panther it would be centers Shawn Matthias or Marcel Goc. I think a host of other Canucks fans have said the same thing.
M&G: You probably field this question a lot, so bear with me, but which Sedin is better? Is there really any difference at all?
NM: The Sedins are freakishly the same in point-totals. But Henrik is a better passer and Daniel the better shooter. Other times they do a role-reversal. When Henrik won the Hart and Art Ross in 2010 he did that despite his brother missing a lot of games. It was a great stepping - up of his game to lead the way.
M&G: Hypothetical: The Flames win tonight - how did it happen?
NM: The Flames will win tonight if the Canucks still can't put puck into the net. Our power play is atrocious so I am hoping your PK gives us some more space out there! And that has really been a big problem for the Flames against the Canucks...they give them too much room to perform their magic.
Good luck tonight, Flames fans! No, I don't really mean that!
Thanks to Sean for answering my questions. Make sure to tune in for Ruhee's preview, Arik's GameThread, and Arii's post game synopsis. Next up for the Flames - the Sharks on Monday.