It was pretty disheartening to see the Canucks get thrashed by the Red Wings the other day. And afterward, I heard a lot of talk about “end of a road trip” and “fourth game in six days”. But when I took a closer look at those four games, a different explanation emerged.
Last week, I wrote a post over at Nucks Misconduct making the case that the Canucks suffer from “rosterjugglingitis”–a malady involving a poor performance whenever a new player draws into the lineup–and that post suggested that the roster juggle (David Booth for Aaron Volpatti) for last week’s game against the Hawks may have been a contributing factor in the Canucks’ 4-3 shootout loss.
Continuing forward from there, the next game saw Volpatti draw back into the lineup to replace Jannik Hansen as he served his one-game suspension, and in the following game, Volpatti was back in the press box with Hansen’s return. This makes ‘player changes’ in three straight games, something the Canucks had managed to avoid all season. But fortunately, they were only playing the scoring-challenged Predators (who have been shut out nearly twice as many times as any other team), and managed an ugly 1-0 win.
Now, we come to the Detroit game, a fourth straight game involving ‘roster juggling’; that, by itself, basically guarantees a loss for the Canucks, despite the fact the Wings had played the night before, and had managed only one win in their last six games. But to make matters worse, the Canucks’ roster juggling involved multiple changes for the first time this season, with Kevin Bieksa down with an injury and Booth out with the flu, resulting in Volpatti and Andrew Alberts drawing into the lineup. For a team like the Canucks who suffer from rosterjugglingitis, this scenario represents a veritable “perfect storm”. . .and the Canucks did indeed get blown out of the rink.