Skip to main content


'It’s not X’s and O’s:' Canucks stuck in four-game skid


The Vancouver Canucks continue to sit atop the NHL standings but have seen their lead in the Presidents' Trophy race disappear amid a four-game losing skid. 

Prior to their current stretch, the Canucks had failed to gain at least a point in consecutive games just once this season – in their third and fourth games. 

After a turbulent season that saw the team start 18-25-3 under Bruce Boudreau before finishing 20-12-4 with Rick Tocchet in 2022-23, this year's Canucks are just now facing their first trying stretch. 

“We're going to go through this. It's not going to be a perfect season," goaltender Thatcher Demko said after a 5-2 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night. "This is the first bit of adversity that we've faced, so I'm sure it's fun to write that we're struggling or whatever, but it's part of the game, part of the sport. We're learning from it.”

Tocchet has largely remained positive amid the skid, praising the team's performance in a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche this week, but the team's effort level drew his ire Thursday.

“The first 10 minutes I thought we were fine,” Tocchet said. “And then all of a sudden it was a comedy of errors where guys were missing pucks and things like that.”

“It’s not Xs and Os,” he added. “They came up with loose pucks, and we didn’t. … You can analyze it, but there’s nothing really to say.”

The current skid opened with a 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 17, that was followed by an eye-catching 10-7 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Monday and subsequent defeats to the Avalanche and Kraken.

Vancouver has been joined at the top of the NHL standings by the Boston Bruins, who have one game in hand, at 80 points. The New York Rangers at 79 points and Florida Panthers at 78 both have three games in hand on the Canucks. 

In the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars have closed to within four points of the Canucks with one game in hand, while the Avalanche are five points back with one game in hand. The Jets are in striking distance of Vancouver for the top seed, sitting seven points back with five games in hand.

"Obviously, it's going to be a focal point until you have a little bit more success, and that's the way it's going to be,” said Canucks captain Quinn Hughes. “But no one cares more than guys that are on the ice, and hopefully we'll be able to get the job done."