The list of issues may seem long, but the Vancouver Canucks believe they can turn the tables on the Chicago Blackhawks, beginning with Game 4 at GM Place on Friday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 6:30 p.m. PT).
Vancouver trails in the Western Conference series 2-1, the same position the Blackhawks found themselves in last spring before reeling off three consecutive wins to finish off the Canucks.
And it's the same scenario Vancouver faced in its opening-round series against Los Angeles.
"We're far from out of this series," forward Ryan Kesler said Thursday. "It's adversity we've dealt with before and we've come out on top."
The Canucks can make a number of improvements after allowing nine of the last 11 goals in the series.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin have been held to a total of just one point in the last two games and the likes of Kesler, Pavol Demitra and Steve Bernier, among others, haven't been able to make up for the twins' lack of production.
Since Henrik set up Mikael Samuelsson for a 5-on-3 power-play goal early in Game 2, the Canucks have come up empty on eight straight opportunities with the man advantage.
But much of the attention has focused on moving bodies away from Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, as big forward Dustin Byfuglien victimized Vancouver with a hat trick down low.
“Chicago is not a better team than us,” Luongo said. “They’re not playing better than us. They are just doing a better job in front of the net on both sides. Dustin [Byfuglien] is doing a good job of what he’s doing and he’s not getting called for it, so he’s taking advantage of it."
The Canucks have vowed to fight fire with fire and make life more difficult for first-year Chicago playoff goalie Antti Niemi.
While that could result in more goals, unless Vancouver gets a handle on handling the Blackhawks in their own end — which afflicted them in last year's elimination — it may just result in a more entertaining defeat.
Byfuglien's goals were set up by the speed and playmaking ability of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who combined for five assists.
In addition to the Kane-Toews-Byfuglien line, Marian Hossa has been dangerous in the last two games and Kris Versteeg has broken out of a playoff slump with goals in consecutive games.
Those Chicago forwards are often getting the jump on Vancouver's checkers, courtesy of crisp passes from Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith.
In short, Chicago again appears to be exploiting Vancouver's depth issues on the back end. The combined ice time of Canucks defencemen Andrew Alberts and Shane O'Brien has only been about four minutes more than what Alex Edler and Christian Ehrhoff are individually logging.
Conversely, the Blackhawks have no compunction about sending out Brent Sopel or Niklas Hjalmarsson for nearly 20 minutes a game.
It all adds up to a challenge for the Canucks, but they believe they can have the series knotted up again when the series shifts back to Chicago on Sunday for Game 5 (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 5 p.m. PT).