Wild @ Canucks Game Preview: Some Kind Of Monster

 WILD
CANUCKS

AT

Time Fri, 7:00 PM PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series 1-0 Wild
Last Meeting
6-2 Wild (Oct.19/10)
The Enemy Hockey Wilderness Scoring Leaders   Daniel Sedin: 7-3-10 Matt Cullen: 3-6-9
Wild
Category Canucks
3-2-1 Season Record 2-3-2
7th Conference Position 12th v
Won 2
Streak Lost 2
NA
Last 10 NA
3.33 (3rd)
Goals Per Game 2.14 (26th) v
2.33 (8)
Least Goals Against Per Game 2.57 (12) ^
1.0 (14)
5 On 5 GF/GA 0.67 (25) v
44.4 (1)
Power Play %
25.9 (4) ^
83.8 (15)
Penalty Kill %
80.6 (21) ^
27.8 (26)
Shots Per Game 30.9 (17) ^
30.3 (15)
Least Shots Against Per Game 30.6 (17) v
.500
Winning % When Scoring First .500
.750
Winning % When Leading After 1 .667
.500
Winning % When Trailing After 1 0
100
Winning % When Leading After 2 .500
0
Winning % When Trailing After2 0
53.0 (9)
Faceoffs % 57.0 (1)
16.2 (25)
Least PIM's Per Game 16.4 (26) ^
0 (18)
+ / - GF/GA (see here)
-4 (25) v

 

Update (2:38 PM): Luongo's reaction to Schneider getting more starts:

"I'm all about winning the Cup. It doesn't matter to me I know you guys are going to try and make a story out of it, but this is the plan going in. So you are obviously going to see Cory going in more frequently this year," Luongo said.

"To be honest, I don't really mind it. Why I do mind is that I will be asked about it, probably every day. That's what will get to me more than anything."  - The Province

Update (1:45 PM): For the Wild: Cam Barker out, Clayton Stoner in. Cue Bob Dylan song.

Update (12:34 PM): Looks like Jannik Hansen will stay on the Sedin line. Anticipated rosters for both teams can be found at the Team 1040 website.

Update (12:27 PM): According to TSN, Dan Hamhuis aggravated his sore foot during the pregame skate in Chicago. He only skated for a few minutes today. He will be a game time decision once again. Damn.

Update (12:36 AM): Cory Schneider will start this one. Also, Rypien did shove Henrik Sedin lightly before grabbing on to the Wild fan in "the incident". Hank muttered something to a teammate on the bench and skated off in apparent disgust. This is a conversational piece in itself. Discuss.

Ironically, Rick Rypien's fate will be decided by the NHL brass on the same day that the Canucks play the team that the incident happened against. But the penalty he may or may not get is not at the forefront of the Canuck faithful's minds. The play of the team is. Yankee posted a masterpiece on Thursday about the Canucks' misfortunes, especially in regards to their last 2 games..both losses. I am going to throw in my own 2 cents..

  • In the Canucks' first 7 games, only 7 players have scored at least a goal.
  • The Sedins have scored 19 of the teams' 45 points (42.2%). Daniel Sedin has scored 7 of the Canucks' 15 goals (46.6%).
  • Of the 22 Canucks skaters employed this young season, 13 are in the minus category. That's were scoring helps.
  • Kevin Bieksa has 0 points and is an even +/- in 7 games. For a guy that loves to pinch in a lot and give us fits, he'll need to start putting up points. So I threw a Bieksa dig in..sue me.

The obvious fact remains that someone not named Sedin or even Samuelsson (6 points in 7 games is hardly worth bitching about) need to score. You know Kesler, Raymond, Bieksa, Edler, Torres, Malhotra etc want to get it going offensively. Maybe this is part of the reason why the Canucks give up so many damned odd-man rushes. Everyone's trying to get the monkeys off their backs.

Hey, it's just a suggestion. At least against the Blackhawks the team collectively showed some better defence and buckled up, for the most part*. I think they should continue this trend. Take care of their own end first. 4 guys back!  Woo! Look at what the Canucks' opponents are doing: playing patient hockey, letting us coming at them, wait for the inevitable turnover and/or stupid pinch and then break up ice the other way on an odd-man rush. The same story would have rang true had Marian Hossa not been *thwarted by Roberto Luongo on his breakaway with 2:00 left in the Chicago game.

All I see is inconsistency game to game, marred by scoring slumps, squeezing sticks and players doing too much as a result. I don't feel "team" yet.

SIMPLIFY.

PATIENCE!

The goals will come and success will follow. Just stop taking so many penalties and giving up the odd-man rushes for god's sakes!

I hate to say it, but the team really has to be missing Alexandre Burrows. They can't use that as an excuse as to why they aren't scoring more, but there is no doubt that his return in November is going to be a blessing. In his past 4 seasons as a Canuck he only missed 1 game. 1 game! He is a huge part of this team, a shoe-in on the top line yet flexible on other lines, plus he's a spark plug. See the video below.

I think we really need Dan Hamhuis back as well as that stabilizing factor.

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

So, remember the whole Minny bag skate last weekend? Well, the Wild have not lose a game since. This week they made us pound sand and then beat the Oilers on Thursday night 4-2. So..back to back games for the Wild..will we see Jose Theodore play in goal against Van? (Please oh please? He nearly faced 40 shots in the win over Edmonton). Stay tuned.

In the Wild's last 2 wins, Martin Havlat and Brent Burns had 3 points each. Kyle Brodziak scored 2 goals against his former team on Thursday.

Blah blah, VIDEO TIME!

Burrows scores a shorty on February 3, 2009. See how he pretends to break his stick over his knee as part of his celebration? Well, funny story. The Canucks had lost their previous 8 straight games in the January to forget. They would beat Carolina in this game and win 12 of their next 14 games. Yeah..sparkplug is Burrows.

Here is how we beat the Wild (if only Sami Salo wasn't an injury-prone piece of glass):

Anger Management...

Go Canucks!

Hey, what the hell is this?

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