Canucks At Islanders Preview: Strong Is Your Fight

Bruce Bennett
Time Tues. 4:00 PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series -
Last Meeting
4-1 Canucks, Nov. 13/11
The Enemy Lighthouse Hockey Scoring Leaders H. Sedin: 2-10-12
Tavares: 4-6-10

CANUCKS
CATEGORY
ISLANDERS
5-4-1 SEASON RECORD 3-3-2
11 POINTS 8
9th CONFERENCE POSITION 9th
Lost 2
STREAK Lost 1
5-4-1 LAST 10 -
3-2-1 ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD 2-1-2
2.70 (15)
GOALS PER GAME AVERAGE 3.00 (11)
2.80 (21) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME AVERAGE 2.62 (14)
0.90 (18) 5 ON 5 GF / GA 1.00 (16)
11.1 (27) POWER PLAY % 25.0 (5)
91.4 (1) PENALTY KILL % 82.6 (13)
51.1 (12) FACEOFF WINS % 48.6 (19)
191 (15) HITS
161 (23)
150 (2) BLOCKED SHOTS 128 (12)
37 (18) MINOR PENALTIES TAKEN 27 (5)
NHL.COM

A shootout loss to the Penguins I can handle. But not a boring 3-1 loss to the lowly Blue Jackets. The Canucks lacked some passion in that one and still could have salvaged at least a point had Chris Higgins not been stoned late in the game by Curtis McElhenney. People may have expected John Tortorella to lose his shit after that but no....he didn't:

"I thought we came out of our end well, but not enough in the areas to score goals, except on the one power-play goal we scored. Consistency is a mentality as far as the grind, and the shots were very deceiving as far as how we played."

No kidding. When I was seeing the Canucks shots totals I was wondering if the stat guy had a little too much of grandpa's cough syrup.

Mike Gillis even gave some insight and thoughts on Tortorella after the Canucks' 10th game of the season, where they hold a 5-4-1 record:

"He’s finding out what it’s like to coach a Canadian team. There are significant differences, and the amount we have to travel and be successful is new to him. He’s got a good sense of humour about it all and is just a lot quieter and calm. He’s a very good coach and doing things behind the bench through the course of a game to change momentum — and to keep momentum.

"For me, from the time we hired John, it’s been an invigorating exercise with a fresh approach in how the game is thought about. It was a difficult transition to go through, but it’s also one that I’ve enjoyed after the fact. I really like the way he’s handling the team."

No kidding. Me too.

Both of those quotes from the Province's Ben Kuzma, by the way. The article can be found here.

Jeremy Welsh, who played his first game with the Canucks against the BJ's, looked awesome in the 4th line center role. He did something consistently that the vast majority of the other Canucks forwards did not do: go to / crash the net. If Welsh is going to play like THAT on a regular basis, then he can stay. He makes that line better. Zac Dalpe could not do that.

PROJECTED ROSTERS

CANUCKS

Higgins - Hank - Kesler

Dank - Santorelli - Hansen

Booth - Richardson - Kassian

Sestito - Welsh - Weise

Garrison - Bieksa

Hamhuis - Edler

Tanev - Stanton

LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Injured: Alexandre Burrows and Jordan Schroeder. Tough luck for Schroeder. He just got back from a foot injury and now has an ankle injury.

ISLANDERS

Mouslon - Tavares - Okposo

Bouchard - Nielsen - Bailey

Brock Nelson - Regin - Clutterbuck

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Colin McDonald

Hamonic - MacDonald

Hickey - Strait (not Streit)

Donovan - Carkner

Nabokov

Injuries: Lubomir Visnovsky (the power play horse on the Isle's defence has a concussion.) Dominik from Lighthouse hockey considers which Isles defencemen can eat up Visnovsky's minutes here.

We will not see the great Michael Grabner in this one. He has been suspended for 2 games for this hit on Nathan Gerbe:

What the f***? So players can't act like Scott Stevens anymore? Such bullshit! I hate the new NHL! Grabner has 2 goals and 6 assists in 8 games this season, instead of 6 goals and 2 assists. He can be a sniper, mostly. I miss him. I think he'd fit in well with this Canucks team.

Cry and cry again in hindsight that Mike Gillis traded Grabner, Steve Bernier and a first round pick to the Panthers for Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich.

YOU MADE MY SHITLIST

David Booth tried pretty hard last game. I am going to cut him some slack. Today's shitlist victim is Jannik Hansen. 1 assist in his last 8 games. He's getting 17.0 - 18.5 minutes of ice time per game in 4 of his last 5 games. Beaker.....I like your work ethic and all that...but Dobber Hockey's Jeff Angus pegged you as the potential Canucks' breakout player last season and I agreed. Now we look like fools. 2 goals and 1 assist in your last 10 games is unacceptable. Sure, that will average out to about 17 goals and 9 assists over the course of the season but...shut up! Math is stupid! It's all about what I want! I want more than 20 goals from you. You can't just flash me some brilliance and just disappear! This isn't f*cking Whodini! SCORE DAMMIT!

TRENDS

  • Canucks are 5-2 in their last 7 Tuesday games.
  • Canucks are 5-11 in their last 16 overall.
  • Canucks are 3-7 in their last 10 games playing on 1 days rest.
  • Canucks are 3-8 in their last 11 road games.
  • Canucks are 3-8 in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
  • Canucks are 2-6 in their last 8 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
  • Wow....that's depressing. Who's got the rum bottle? Pass it over here!
  • Islanders are 6-2 in their last 8 Tuesday games.
  • Islanders are 11-4 in their last 15 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
  • Islanders are 11-5 in their last 16 games playing on 2 days rest.
  • Islanders are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
  • That last Isles stat means squat. The Jackets had lost 4 in a row before beating the Canucks on Sunday.

Expect a really gritty effort from both team in this one. The Isles have had 2 days off and I can assure you are a pain in the arss to play against, led by captain John Tavares, who I never get to see play. But you know, if Weise whacks Johnny and knocks him out of the game early I won't be disappointed. I'm evil like that.

SCORE-PREDICTING WIZARDS UPDATE

marcness52: 4

Nathaniel Perlow: 4

Coach Ryan: 3

gmonk33: 3

nucksandpucks: 3

Tengeresz: 3

Twitchy2010: 3

Geordie Nuck: 2

Passive Voice: 2

Tim Burke: 2

vancitydan: 2

Vancouverguy: 2

Zanstorm: 2

Brock: 1

FormerHab: 1

Nathan k: 1

seedvt: 1

Smoboy41: 1

westy99: 1

VIDEO

The last time these 2 teams met, a lot of good things happened. Happy things:

Aaron Rome with 2 points. Luongo was god. Let's take a closer look at those 2 big Luongo saves against the team that drafted and traded him away:

In Grant Fuhrian fashion, hey? Grabner was Fuhrious.

The other big save:

Sweeeeet.

The title of this game preview post has been brought to you by Kelly Rosenthal:

GO CANUCKS GO!

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