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Excuses for the Canucks

After scoring a whopping seven goals last season, Jeff Cowan hasn't scored once yet this year. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

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After scoring a whopping seven goals last season, Jeff Cowan hasn't scored once yet this year. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

The Vancouver Canucks will need a couple of clutch wins in their final two games if they are to make the playoffs – and even that may not be enough.

Projected by most experts as a top-six team in the Western Conference with exceptional goaltending and a 105-point season last year, the Canucks have critical games against Edmonton Thursday and Calgary Saturday. If Vancouver fails to qualify for the playoffs, here are 10 excuses they can use.

10. We haven’t been the same since losing all-star Rory Fitzpatrick.

9. 21st in the NHL in offense would be OK if the league had 90 teams.

8. Just not enough confidence in Curtis Sanford to start him in that key March 28 game in Minnesota.

7. Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison just can’t bring it on like the good old days.

6. Nashville wasn’t supposed to be this good – 88 points should have been enough.

5. We wanted Mats Sundin, but he doesn’t like the rain.

4. Maybe summer acquisition Ryan Shannon wasn’t the answer offensively after all.

3. The hockey gods just won’t let the Todd Bertuzzi curse go.

2. Goal-less Jeff Cowan didn’t go on the six-goal in four-game binge like he did last year.

1. Golf courses in greater Vancouver are far too inviting this time of year.

The Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on thehockeyenews.com. If you enjoy this feature, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine for the exclusive countdown, Starting From 10, and other great features from the world of hockey.

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