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Canucks hold players-only meeting after latest collapse

Scott Taetsch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Three games into the season, the Vancouver Canucks are already pulling out all the stops to try and get back on track.

The Canucks held a players-only meeting following Monday's 6-4 loss to the Washington Capitals, head coach Bruce Boudreau said postgame.

Vancouver set a dubious mark in the defeat, becoming the first team in NHL history to lose its first three games of the season while blowing multi-goal leads in each contest, per Sportsnet.

Game Opponent Lead Final score
1 Oilers 3-0 5-3
2 Flyers 2-0 3-2
3 Capitals 4-2 6-4

"I keep saying we have to learn from it, but enough's enough," said captain Bo Horvat postgame.

Boudreau believes his team's inability to close out games is due to its poor mentality.

"I think right now, 'mentally weak' would be a good assessment," Boudreau said. "When you're on a roll, you're waiting for good things to happen. When you're in something like this, you're waiting for something bad to happen."

Horvat echoed his coach's comments, calling Vancouver's performances "unacceptable."

"We can't be mentally weak, either. … It feels like we're getting down on ourselves when they score one," Horvat said. "We still had the lead. It's how we bounce back the next shift. When they get another one, you get down on yourselves even more - and you can't do that in this league."

Boudreau acknowledged improvements are also needed with the penalty kill, which allowed the Capitals' power play to convert twice. Vancouver's penalty kill is operating at just 50% on the season, allowing six goals on 12 opportunities.

"There’s definitely something wrong," Boudreau said. "I must have the wrong guys out there, because they're scoring in the first 15 seconds all the time."

Penalty-killing woes aren't a new development for the Canucks, who ranked 30th in the league in that department a year ago at 74.9%.

"We got great penalty killers in this room," Horvat said. "I have full faith in this team that we're going to bounce back from this, and it starts tomorrow night."

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