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Vancouver Canucks drop sixth straight home playoff contest

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Alain Vigneault has to find a way to cure Vancouver's recent home playoff woes. (USATSI)
Alain Vigneault has to find a way to cure Vancouver's recent home playoff woes. (USATSI)

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It's been a bit of an uncomfortable season for the Vancouver Canucks, but the awkwardness of a goaltending dilemma pales in comparison to the crushing doubt of six straight losses at home in the playoffs. The Canucks haven't managed to win in Vancouver in the postseason since Game 5 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

That dubious streak nearly came to an end Friday night, however Patrick Marleau and the San Jose Sharks had other ideas. With Marleau's game-tying goal with 55.1 seconds remaining in regulation and Raffi Torres' overtime winner, the Canucks face an 0-2 deficit heading into Game 3 in San Jose and about a million questions.

The big one on everyone's mind currently is, why can't the Canucks win at home in the postseason lately? There's no real strong explanation beyond perhaps unfortunate coincidence. Jannik Hansen just barely missed an empty-net goal that would have iced a victory for the Canucks Friday, so it's not a stretch to chalk this difficult stretch on nothing more than bad luck.

Whether it's related to luck or not, the Canucks have to find a way to turnaround their fortunes, otherwise there could be some pink slips getting distributed this summer.

While goaltending has been a major talking point all year when it comes to the Canucks, the real issue as of now lies in the scoring, or lack thereof. The Canucks have not scored more than two goals in a home playoff game dating back to Game 2 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. That simply won't cut it.

Ryan Kesler scored twice for the Canucks in the losing effort Friday, but the quiet play of Henrik and Daniel Sedin is reason for concern. Without a tremendous amount of scoring depth on the roster, Vancouver needs its stars to set the offensive tone. Without the Sedins going, it's going to be awfully tough to muster the offense necessary to advance.

The Canucks' Stanley Cup window is closing rather quickly. Without a deep run this year, significant changes could be coming to the organization at every level. Alain Vigneault and company have a much bigger concern in the interim, however: getting out of the first round.

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