The Canucks added speedy scorer David Booth in a trade with Florida. They got agitating power forward Alex Burrows back from a minor back injury.
Defenseman Kevin Bieksa picked up his game appreciably in recent games. Defenseman Alexander Edler has been great all season.
But still the defending Western Conference champions sputter.
Their 5-1 loss to the Blackhawks, with Cory Schneider in goal for the injured Roberto Luongo, left observers scratching their heads.
This team can't skate up and down the ice with the talented Blackhawks? Since when is this a mismatch?
“We're aware where our game is right now,” coach Alain Vigneault told reporters. “We're not that far away and we're not good enough right now.”
Burrows had this assessment for the Vancouver Province: "Once they got that third one, the wheels came off a bit. There's concern a bit, but we know we can be better and we know what it takes to win in this league.”
For more on the Western Conference and other hockey topics, check out this posting on STLToday.com.