Special teams have been killing the Canucks


The power play has just two goals on its last 22 attempts, with three shorthanded goals against.

The penalty kill has been even worse — eight goals surrendered on 23 tries.

Otherwise, the Vancouver Canucks haven’t been that bad.

“This trip especially we’ve hurt ourselves with our specialty teams play, and usually that’s one of our strengths,” coach Willie Desjardins told the Canadian Press. “We have to get back on it. Both groups have to get back in a groove.”

The Canucks have two games left on their seven-city trip. They’re 1-3-1 so far, with Montreal tonight and Winnipeg Wednesday.

“Our penalty kill hasn’t been good enough and obviously our power play hasn’t been good enough either,” forward Bo Horvat told the Vancouver Sun. “We’re not getting the bounces right now. I don’t think we’re playing bad hockey.”

Horvat has been having a tough time, the 20-year-old NHL sophomore being asked to do a lot more than he was as a rookie. He was a minus-2 in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Leafs.

Similarly, goalie Ryan Miller had another frustrating outing in Toronto, and one has to wonder if the 35-year-old has been overworked. No netminder in the entire league has played more than he has.

Backup Jacob Markstrom, who’s only started once due to injury, will get the nod against the Habs, while winger Hunter Shinkaruk will play his first NHL game, replacing Alex Burrows, who’s returned to Vancouver for the birth of his child.