Canucks @ Senators: And The Road Becomes My Bride...

 CANUCKS
SENATORS

AT

Time Thurs, 4:30 PM PST
TV Sportsnet Vancouver
Season Series (09/10) 1-1-0 Draw
Last Meeting
5-1 Canucks (Mar.13/10)
The Enemy Silver Seven Scoring Leaders   Daniel Sedin: 9-7-16    D. Alfredsson: 6-8-14
Canucks
Category Senators
8-4-2 Season Record 8-6-1
3rd
Conference Position 5th
Lost 1
Streak Won 4
2-4-1
< Road Record / Home Record >
5-3-0
7-2-1
Last 10 7-3-0
+6
Goals For / Against +/- -1
2.86 (11th) v
Goals Per Game 2.73 (17th)
2.29 (7) v
Least Goals Against Per Game 2.80 (16)
0.92 (21) v
5 On 5 GF/GA 0.90 (22)
27.3 (1) -
Power Play %
20.0 (12)
84.6 (12) -
Penalty Kill %
82.0 (18)
31.4 (11) -
Shots Per Game 28.1 (26)
30.3 (17) -
Least Shots Against Per Game 31.5 (20)
77.8 (13) -
Winning % When Scoring First 100
87.5 (13) ^
Winning % When Leading After 1 80.0 (18)
20.0 (23) v
Winning % When Trailing After 1 22.2 (20)
83.3 (20)
Winning % When Leading After 2 100
0
Winning % When Trailing After 2 0
44.4 (16) v
Winning % When Outshooting
50.0 (15)
80.0 (4) -
Winning % When Outshot
55.6 (15)
55.1 (2) -
Faceoffs % 51.5 (9)
13.1 (13) ^
Least PIM's Per Game 15.0 (21)
(NHL.com)

(Stats as of 6:40 PM PST Wednesday)

Road Warriors the Canucks are not. At least, not yet anyway. Vancouver takes their 2-4-1 road record into the nation's capital to find ways to beat another team's tenacity on home ice. The Canadiens played a possessed style that the Canucks could not match a couple of nights ago and I expect the Senators are going to give them the same run for their money, To me, Ottawa is a team that nobody projected to do much this season yet they continually prove their worth through impressive competitiveness. That being said, the Canucks are better than the Sens statistically in almost every form. The most glaring

stats in Ottawa's favor are their record when scoring first, when leading after 1 period and when leading after 2 periods. Almost perfect. So the mission is clear: score first and/or get an early lead after 1 period  and dictate the play.

What I found lacking in the game against the Habs (besides the obvious inability to match their effort) was the lack of a physical game. The smaller Montreal forwards were left untouched mostly. The Canucks need to crash and bang more often on the road. God knows they excelled at that at home.

After winning 3 of their last 5 games in October the Senators have won all 4 of their games in November; 2 games at home and 2 on the road. In their last 4 games:

-Jason Spezza has 3 goals and 7 points

-Sergei Gonchar has 3 goals and 5 points

-Defenceman Erik Karlsson has 1 goal and 6 points

-Alexei Kovalev has 2 goals

-Daniel Alfredsson has 2 assists.

Ottawa has outscored their opponents 15-7 in those games and scored 3 power play goals. So you can see that the aforementioned Sens have done the brunt of the scoring.

-According to TSN the Sens may get Filip Kuba back on Thursday, after breaking his leg on September 18.

-The Canucks have recalled Mario Bliznak from Manitoba on Wednesday, meaning we could see a shuffle in the bottom 9 for Vancouver.

-Roberto Luongo is scheduled to start. Kevin Bieksa has the flu and may not play, the Province reports. If that is the case Keith Ballard will draw back in. More positivity from Ballard: "You never know how this works," he shrugged. "It Kevin is healthy, great. The six guys in there are doing a good job. I'm with a good team and I would take this [sitting out] over playing more and not making the playoffs." It looks as though Andrew Alberts will get his chance to make amends for his lousy game against Montreal.

-If Rick Rypien is only going to play 2.5 minutes per game then what the f*ck is the point of him occupying a roster spot? Maybe that is where Bliznak fits in. Who knows. Stay tuned.

I somewhat liked the Canucks' effort against the Canadiens, but they were shut down. I think they need a little more sandpaper to get the job done in Ottawa.

VIDEO

The last time these 2 teams faced eachother:

February 2010: Rypien vs Neil

Rypien vs Neil rematch:

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