Sports

Blog: For the Vancouver Canucks, in this West, wins aren't enough

Maybe wins just aren't enough.

For the Vancouver Canucks, they don't just need two points. Two points won't make up for all the missed points they've already squandered, it won't make up for the point or two they give their competitors, and it won't make up for the astounding strength of nearly every other team in the Western Conference.

The Edmonton Oilers were detestable to begin this season, but they're more than capable now. The Calgary Flames seem to enjoy beating Vancouver more than they enjoy beating anyone else. The Phoenix Coyotes, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and Colorado Avalanche will continue to win, win, and win, even if they lose once in a while.

And then there are the Canucks, who played a terrific 40 minutes or so in their Friday 'win' over Phoenix and, despite the victory, blew a two-goal lead, meaning they can't forget the fact that they gave the Coyotes a point they shouldn't have sniffed.

That Chris Higgins goal above saved the Canucks. For one night. But it didn't propel them.

"I don't know what it is," said head coach John Tortorella on Friday night, when asked if the glass was half-full or half-empty. "But I'm glad that we won."

Quite simply, Torts looked a little astounded. Disappointed might be the right word. Upset that his team spotted themselves a two-goal cushion and still found a way to hand Phoenix an extra frame. Upset because he didn't know to explain it, although that's rarely the case.

"I think it's natural... you talk about it, you talk about it, to stay on your toes," the coach said. "I thought we lost our gaps... within our neutral zone.

I thought they played harder than us in the third period and their sticks were better. And we have to get out of this situation of not finishing games, because we're going nowhere until we do.

"I'm happy we won, but I can't stand the way we won."

That makes two of us, John.

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