Canucks hope to end home woes against Kraken
Call it a home-ice disadvantage.
The Vancouver Canucks have lost six of their past eight games at Rogers Arena, including three in a row, entering Thursday night’s visit from the Seattle Kraken.
“It’s something we talk about all the time,” Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I don’t have an answer to the problem of why we haven’t (won more games at home). In our last four losses here, we’ve only scored three goals. We’ve lost 5-1, 5-1, 5-1 and 3-0.”
Remarkably, if Boudreau had listed the past five home losses, he could’ve added a fourth 5-1 defeat.
“I’m running out things to say here,” Vancouver captain Bo Horvat said. “Obviously another poor effort by us and that’s the result.
“We play like a completely different team on the road. I don’t know if we’re pushing too hard at home to not get booed out of our building every night. I think it’s just turning on us right now, and we’re just kind of running around with out heads cut off a little bit too much, and that’s again the result.
“We’re sick of letting our fans down, (and) each other down, at home.”
Vancouver’s only home wins over the eight-game span were a 7-6 overtime victory against Montreal in which the Canucks overcame a 4-0 deficit and a 3-2 overtime decision over lowly Arizona.
Obviously, defense has been a problem.
“We’re not going to be able to score four goals every game and win,” said Boudreau, whose team is 5-9-1 at home this season.
Slow starts have also been a problem, with the Canucks often falling behind early.
“Since I’ve been here, it’s been a bone of contention with this team about the first periods not being very good. And when they are good, we usually have success,” Boudreau said, referring to last Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout victory at Calgary, in which the Canucks scored two early goals.
The Kraken took advantage of facing teams playing the second half of a back-to-back, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 and the St. Louis Blues 5-2 earlier this week.
Ryan Donato has tallied in four consecutive games for the Kraken, including a first-period breakaway Tuesday.
“For me, it definitely is sweet. It’s exciting,” Donato said. “But honestly at the end of the day, I think everybody here can agree that it’s more about winning.”
Before their past two victories, the Kraken had dropped five of their previous six games.
“I think we see when we play the right way, we’re going to get our chances, and if we capitalize on them, it’s hard to beat us,” Donato said.
Goaltender Martin Jones was forced to make just 22 saves Tuesday.
“We’re playing great as a team,” Jones said. “I think when we check like that, makes (the goalies’) jobs easier and then we just have to be solid and then maybe make one or two key saves that definitely simplifies things for us.”
This will be the second meeting between the Pacific Division rivals this season.
The Canucks won 5-4 Oct. 27 at Seattle, their first win of the season after a 0-5-2 start. It was the 600th win of Boudreau’s NHL coaching career.
Ilya Mikheyev scored twice, and Elias Pettersson, Andrei Kuzmenko and Conor Garland each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks. Thatcher Demko made 32 saves.
–Field Level Media