Game 58: Maple Leafs At Canucks Preview: It's Like That And That's The Way It Is

LEAFS

CANUCKS

AT

Time Sat. 4:00 PM PST
TV CBC
Season Series 1-0 Canucks
Last Meeting
5-3 Canucks Dec.17/11
The Enemy Pension Plan Puppets Scoring Leaders H. Sedin: 12-46-58 Kessel: 30-32-62
Leafs
Category Canucks
29-23-6 Season Record 36-15-6
8th
Conference Position 2nd
Won 1
Streak Won 2
13-14-2
< Road Record / Home Record >
17-6-4
5-4-1
Last 10 8-0-2
+2
Goals For / Against +/- +43
2.98 (6)
Goals Per Game Average
3.10 (3)
2.95 (25)
Goals Against Per Game Average
2.35 (6)
0.99 (14)
5 On 5 GF/GA 1.19 (6)
19.3 (7)
Power Play %
22.1 (1)
76.9 (29)
Penalty Kill %
86.3 (6)
50.7 (10)
Faceoffs % 51.9 (5) +
1429 (6)
Hits
1267 (17)
932 (5)
Blocked Shots
680 (28)
680 (1)
Giveaways
397 (20)
420 (11)
Takeaways
364 (20)
9.6 (6)
PIM's Per Game Average
14.3 (28)
NHL.com

The Leafs have not made the playoffs since 2004. They have not beaten the Canucks since 2003 (9 losses in a row). Elliott Pap wrote a piece about Leafs nation on Friday, bringing up the silly point that the Leafs have no Ontarian - born players on their team while the Canucks have Hodgson, Malhotra and Bieksa.

It's easy to point at the Leafs and laugh over the last several years. The same could be said about the Canucks. Whether you make the playoff dance or not it doesn't matter if you don't win the Stanley Cup. Who really cares if you finish 2nd or 3rd or 4th or 28th best if you don't bring home the big prize?

Mike Gillis seemingly complained about hearing that

Vancouver will never be known as the Center Of The Hockey Universe because the Leafs own that perch. That's probably because it's the truth. Many fans of any team that isn't the Toronto Maple Leafs gripes about the whole COTU thang. Well, get over it. It is what it is. When you have enough history that runs that deep, that long, you earn that right and it goes with the territory. Pre-1970 Canada had the Habs and the Leafs as NHL teams. That was it. Imagine all the generations of Leafs fans that were already in place all across the country by then. I have the fortunate experience of being a fan of both the Canucks and Leafs. So the Toronto Sports Network and COTU thing is easy for me not to care about. Oh, and I can imagine someone will bring up the 4:00 PM start thingy too. COTU!!!!

I like Leaf fans, not only because I am a Leaf fan myself (it will never go away), but also because I love the sound of them at Leaf home games. Even if the team is sucking they are loud and passionate as hell. It's a beautiful thing. The live experience of a Leafs or a Habs game live is unreal. Constant noise. Constant passion. You don't hear that in Vancouver. That's the way it is.

Anyway...

Another big game for both teams. The Canucks need to keep pace with the Red Wings, who just won their 22nd straight home game and have a 4 point lead over the Canucks for top spot in the West. The Leafs are clinging to 8th spot in the East by only one point ahead of the Capitals, who play at the same time on Saturday.

Let's see if the Sedins can get back on the scoreboard again. They are pointless in 3 games now. Hank was pointless in 4 straight in late January, and was pointless in 3 straight only once last season. This is the worst regular season "drought" for Dank since his own 3 game drought in March of last year. It's just a matter of time....

PROJECTED ROSTERS


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2011 - Roberto Luongo 28 1587 17 8 63 2.38 758 695 .917 2



Dank Sedin - Hank Sedin - Alexandre Burrows

David Booth - KesLORD -Mason Raymond

Jannik Hansen - Maxim Lapierre -Chris Higgins

Manny Malhotra -Cody Hodgson - Byron Bitz

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa

Alex Edler - Sami Salo

Andrew Alberts - Aaron Rome


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2011 - James Reimer 24 1356 11 7 65 2.88 693 628 .906 3


Lupul - Bozak - Kessel

Kulemin - Grabovski - MacArthur

Connolly - Lombardi - Armstrong

Boyce - Steckel - Brown

Aulie - Phaneuf

Liles - Franson

Gardiner - Schenn

INJURIES

-For both teams via TSN. Leafs are without Carl Gunnarsson. Canucks are without Keith Ballard, who is now projected to be out until after the trade deadline. Dale Weise is questionable for the game vs the Leafs.

TRENDS

  • Maple Leafs are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Western Conference.
  • Maple Leafs are 3-8 in their last 11 road games.
  • Maple Leafs are 2-6 in their last 8 Saturday games.
  • Maple Leafs are 1-4 in their last 5 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
  • Maple Leafs are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Maple Leafs are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
  • Canucks are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. Northeast.
  • Canucks are 10-2 in their last 12 Saturday games.
  • Canucks are 8-2 in their last 10 vs. Eastern Conference.
  • Canucks are 8-3 in their last 11 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
  • Much more at Covers.com.

VIDEO

The last meeting:

No matter what, Canucks fans can always rub this in the Leaf fans' faces:

Mats Sundin ceremony from last Saturday:

Mats Sundin murders Brad May:

Mats Sundin scores a 6 point night against Vancouver's Farm Team:

Mats Sundin's first goal as a Canuck:

Mats Sundin scores against the Hawks in the playoffs:

Mats Sundin buries the Leafs in the shootout:

Mats Sundin!

Mats Sundin!

The title of this preview post is brought to you once again by Run DMC:

Go Canucks Go!

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