The Vancouver Canucks are just four points out of the West's final wild card spot, but raise your hand if you think they will make the playoffs.
Anyone? Their pre-Olympic swoon appears to have sunk their season like an Islanders December. The atmosphere around the team is one of disarray. Roberto Luongo is out, less than a year after Corey Schneider was the surprise goalie thrown off the island. Ryan Kesler wants out, though he says that's not right. An alleged Kesler trade was allegedly canceled by ownership, who might not know what they want done with the team that Smartest Ex-Agent In The Room Mike Gillis has turned into a listing ship.
But maybe the tonic for a listing ship is facing the Calgary Flames (not that that was tonic for the Isles, but there are degrees of listing here) and the New York Islanders. The Canucks, after all, are one of those strong possession teams that stick out by not having a standings position to live up to their underlying numbers. It seems that off-ice theater (and injuries) have enveloped them.
As ticked off as you are at the Isles right now, their last 10 (3-6-1) actually trumps the Canucks' last 10 (2-7-1). That's how things are in the Land That Until Recently Had Elite Goaltending. Canucks fans are bitter and angry.
For Isles or Canucks fans in the Twitterverse, this should be an entertaining night of self-loathing from coast to coast.
Evgeni Nabokov starts opposite Eddie "Yes, Swedes can be named Eddie" Lack. Daniel Sedin is out with injury, Zack Kassian is out with stupidity.