Friday, December 05, 2008

Canucks have to take down the Wild tonight

...not only because they can retake possession of first spot in the Northwest Division, but also because he longer this losing streak goes the harder it is on player and team chemistry and morale.

I'm not feeling overly confident in the Canucks' abilities to play a tight 60 minutes at this point. I'm also not overly confident in the abilities of Sanford or Schneider. Both have played well, there is no doubt, but they need to steal a game at some point. And to continue the broken record.... the players in front of them need to tighten up defensively. 5 goals scored against the Wings is great, but not when you allow 6 against.

-The Wild are coming off a 4-0 win over the Blues on Wednesday night. They have won 3 of their last 5 games and 6 of their last 10.

-Vancouver has fallen to 7-7-1 on the road this year. Minny is 8-5-1 at home.

-here are the Wild players' stats. Saku's bro is better than Saku it seems.

Team stats that stand out:

-The Wild are 2nd-best in the NHL in the goals-against category. Canucks are 7th and falling.

-The Canucks are better than the Wild 5-on-5.

-The Wild have the 2nd best power play in the NHL behind who? Detroit. If it wasn't for Kyle Wellwood, the Canucks would be lower than 17th in the NHL.

-The Wild are the 2nd best team in the NHL on the PK. Canucks are 18th.

-Disturbingly, the Canucks are free-falling to the League basement when it comes to shots-per-game. They are 29th. Minny isn't that much better at 25th.

-But hey here's a positive stat: The Canucks are far better than the Wild at winning faceoffs! Woop!

So what do all these stats mean? Well, they can mean nothing at times. But if you are a betting man, you'd have to go with the Wild on this one. From a fan standpoint, I think this game could go either way. The Canucks did suffer a brain fart against the Wings last night, yet they showed a lot of resolve in the 2nd half of the 3rd period to almost tie it. They just have to carry that momentum over. (Yay cliche!)
Can the Canucks prevent their first 5 game losing streak in 3 years? This has to end at some point. Scary thing is, including Minnesota, the Canucks have 4 more road games left before they head home.
Vancouver has won both games over the Wild this season so far.

Check out the Live Blog of the game over at Canucks.com. Same crew of moderators as last night except for 1 change: Alanah is in and Miss 604 is a healthy scratch (I believe due to comments about Luongo's groin! Sorry Rebecca, I'm just kidding.) I believe Alanah is going to need some cheering up. She has a charting the moments of false hope for Canucks fans after last night's game. Worth a look. Booze helps in these dire times.
I chatted it up with the Nuckleheads last night on the board and it was a great time. No names, but some guys just don't give Wellwood his dues! Hilarious. Wellwood is gold and the sooner you get over that denial in your life the sooner you can live as free men.

POST GAME BYTES

Jacques Lemaire:

"It’s another game, and it’s a game we want to win, and we know when we play the Canucks there’s action, there’s intensity, there’s excitement – and we’ll have that. Get your seats early."


Luongo inches closer to return

Luongo has moved to the next stage of his recovery from a groin strain and that calls for "controlled shooting." So for the better part of an hour Thursday, Luongo was on ice at Joe Louis Arena and spent much of that time taking shots from Clark for the second straight day.
"Obviously, it is another step in the right direction," Luongo said. "We are still in a somewhat controlled environment even though I am facing pucks. So like I said a few days ago, it's little steps at a time. You want to make sure you are 100 per cent strength-wise before you get into practice and stuff where things are not always under control and you might have to be forced to make a move that is out of your range or something like that." -Vancouver Sun.
I think Nirvana sang it best when they said: "Take your time. Hurry up. The choice is yours. Don't be late."

GAME TIME: 5:00 PST
TV: Sportsnet

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.