Basement Blues Come To Garage To Test Canucks' Character

BLUES (14-14-5) VS CANUCKS (20-15-0)

GAME TIME: 7:00 PM

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

The Enemy: St. Louis Game Time

UPDATE (2:58 PM): Did Blues' GM Larry Pleau rip into the players after their 6-3 loss to the Lightning? Well, only if you believe this guy.

UPDATE (2:02 PM): No Mathieu Schneider at practice today. He was absent due to personal reasons. Remember what I said a couple of days ago... Also, tonight is Fan Appreciation night. That means the "Jersey's Off Our Backs" ceremony will happen post game. Hopefully Rypien's jersey is stained with Blues' blood. Wouldn't that be a keeper? Hell yeah!

UPDATE (1:55 PM):

Asked if the Canucks had to guard against a letdown, which occurred on the last road trip after impressive wins in New Jersey and Philadelphia, Kesler replied: "The world is filled with such negative thinking. There is a positive bubble in this room and we have to not let this negative thinking creep into this bubble we have.”

-The Vancouver Sun

UPDATE (11:49 AM): The Blues have lost 5 of their last 6 at GM Place. -Sports Network

******************

I've seen this story before. The Canucks play well and beat a superb team and then play a basement dweller and show lack of intensity and lose. Is it about to happen again? Do the Canucks want to be in a playoff spot or not? They can do just that if they win tonight.

More after the jump...

This will be the first game of a 4-game road trip for St. Louis. They hold an impressive 8-3-3 record away from home. They last played on Friday, a 6-3 loss to the Lightning. They are 4-4 in December, 4-5-1 in their last 10, and have lost 2 in a row.

Which Blues are "rolling" over their past 5 games?

-David Backes: 3 goals and 5 points

-Brad Boyes: 1 goal and 4 assists

-TJ Oshie: 3 goals and 1 assist

-Andy McDonald: 1 goal and 3 assists

-Paul Kariya: 4 assists

COMPARATIVE STATS

GOALS PER GAME: Canucks 4th, Blues 30th

GOALS AGAINST PER GAME: Canucks 10th, Blues 15th

5 on 5: Canucks 5th, Blues 21st

POWER PLAY: Canucks 4th, Blues 30th. Wow.

PENALTY KILL: Blues 4th, Canucks 18th. Draw your own conclusions.

SHOTS PER GAME: Canucks 11th, Blues 16th

SHOTS AGAINST PER GAME: Canucks 10th, Blues 23rd

WINNING % WHEN LEADING AFTER 2 PERIODS: Canucks 8th, Blues 27th

FACEOFF %: Canucks 11th, Blues 19th

Another intriguing stat: The Canucks have scored more goals on home ice than any other team in the NHL. The Blues are 26th overall in goals scored on the road.

Statistically, the Canucks have the Blues dominated. They need to put these guys away and get into the playoff picture. 6 points separate the Canucks from the Northwest Division-leading Colorado Avalanche.

The last time these 2 teams played was on November 10. The Blues destroyed the Canucks 6-1 in a penalty-filled game.

The Blues have started Chris Mason 23 games this season, and Ty Conklin 11. Conklin has better stats. Not sure which one plays against the Canucks tonight.

Tanner Glass scrapped Cam Janssen in a marathon match last game. Let's see Rypien and Janssen go at it!

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