Maybe Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault knew something the rest of us didn't.

He admitted to reporters Monday that his team's position in the standings does not come as a surprise to him. The Canucks are currently wallowing in the muck of a four-game losing streak and sat sixth Monday in the Western Conference at 11-7-6. No, that wasn't his point. This was his point.

“We're at the midpoint of the season and, in my opinion, we're exactly where I thought we would be,” he explained following practice at the Xcel Energy Center. “We're fighting with 14 other teams to get into the playoffs. It's a competitive league and a competitive conference and we're right there.

“We've got a good team. We've got a team that reacts well under pressure situations. We're faced with some good adversity that I'm confident will make us better. Everybody right now is looking for answers and looking for solutions, the whole coaching staff and management.”

Monday's solution was to name Roberto Luongo his starter for Tuesday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are somehow the hottest team in the West with five straight wins. Another solution was to put Dan Hamhuis on the struggling first-unit power play and to dispatch struggling rookie centre Jordan Schroeder to the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves.

Veteran Andrew Ebbett, 30, will take Schroeder's spot and likely skate between Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen, at least to start Tuesday's game. Chris Higgins, who was shifted to centre in the second period Sunday, will likely remain there. Higgins followed Alex Burrows and Raymond as wingers attempting to make the stop-gap transition until Ryan Kesler (broken foot) returns and/or general manager Mike Gillis swings a deal for help in the middle.

“Those are the options we have right now,” Vigneault said about the centre position. “Those are good players. Part of being a good player is being able to be versatile and those guys are going to have to show their versatility. I thought Chris did a good job when we used him there and it's one of our options.”