Canucks At Devils Preview: No Sympathy For The Devils

This is NOT OK, damn it!
Time Thurs. 4:00 PST
TV Sportsnet Van.
Season Series 1-0 Canucks
Last Meeting
3-2 Canucks, Oct. 08/13
The Enemy In Lou We Trust Scoring Leaders H. Sedin: 3-10-13
Zidlicky: 0-7-7

CANUCKS
CATEGORY
DEVILS
6-4-1 SEASON RECORD 1-5-3
13 POINTS 4
6th CONFERENCE POSITION 13th
Won 1
STREAK Lost 1
6-3-1 LAST 10 -
4-2-1 ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD 1-0-1
2.91 (14)
GOALS PER GAME AVERAGE 2.00 (26)
2.91 (21) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME AVERAGE 3.11 (24)
1.00 (15) 5 ON 5 GF / GA 0.65 (27)
10.3 (28) POWER PLAY % 13.3 (24)
87.2 (2) PENALTY KILL % 84.0 (8)
51.5 (11) FACEOFF WINS % 44.6 (29)
213 (14) HITS
180 (23)
167 (2) BLOCKED SHOTS 100 (28)
41 (20) MINOR PENALTIES TAKEN 26 (1)
NHL.COM

Are the Canucks victims of being dicked by the refs this season? It seems that a lot of penalties are being called against them and not many power plays being given. I haven't really thought all that much about this, mostly because for the longest time to start this season, the Canucks killed every penalty handed to them. That is starting to change lately. When power play goals against start affecting their success, you know the angst begins.

Call me nuts, but the sins I see the Canucks committing in general deserve penalization. I honestly don't see the opposing teams doing a whole lot of shit to the Canucks players that merits penalties. But, that's just me. Even if the Canucks get power plays they aren't doing squat anyway. John Garrett wrote a piece for Canucks.com on this matter (Conspiracy Theory), and said:

Last season the Canucks had 51 power play chances in their first 10 games. They had 33 in their last 10 and then were penalized twice as much as the San Jose Sharks in their first round playoff loss. This season they had 12 power plays in the first two games and 17 in the last nine. They have outshot their opponents in seven of those nine and the other teams have had 11 more man advantages.

The experts say if you are being outplayed you will take more penalties, but this has not been the case. When is the last time Sydney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin has had three minor penalties in the same game? Henrik Sedin had three in Long Island Tuesday night. Will he say anything? Will the team complain? Would it do any good?

This team has earned some respect. These players have earned some respect.

So..."YES" to the conspiracy theory then? Maybe John is paying too close attention to the burger he's eating.

One thing I am noticing though, now that I think about it, is the lack of obstruction calls. As long as the refs are consistent with calling less of those I do not mind one bit. I was never ok with those stick infractions being called in the first place. You know, the ones where the guy puts his stick on a player's waist but doesn't tug yet still gets a penalty? Yea..f***ing annoying.

Given that the Devils have taken the LEAST amount of minor penalties this season, don't expect a parade by them to the penalty box. However...DO HOPE FOR SURPRISES!

PROJECTED ROSTERS

CANUCKS

Higgins - Hank - Kesler

Dank - Santorelli - Kassian

Richardson - Welsh - Weiser

Sestito - DUNNO - Booth

Edler - Garrison

Hamhuis - Tanev

Stanton - Bieksa

Sauve - Alberts

LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

The Canucks are missing forwards and they recall defenceman Yann Sauve on Wednesday? Something's up here. UPDATE: It's to get to the cap ceiling for Long Term Injury Relief. Which means Hansen is pooched.

DEVILS

Olesz - Henrique - JagrMeister

Tedenby - Zajac - Ryder

Zubrus - Loktionov - Brunner

Carter - Gionta - Bernier

Greene - Zidlicky

Larsson - Fayne

Volchenkov - Harrold

Brodeur Schneider

LATEST ON THE DEVILS

Two seasons ago, not only did the Devils give up the least power play goals (27) in the NHL, they also scored the most shorties (15). The phrase "power kill" was coined, appropriately so, as their remarkable season ended with a staggeringly low -12 differential over 82 games. The Devils penalty killers again led the league in shorthanded goals last season, but were not nearly as effective in keeping the puck out of their own net. Was their aggressiveness hurting them in some ways? Perhaps. Or, it was also just a lack of execution in other areas of the ice leading to goals. Either way, with Mike Foligno taking over for Dave Barr, it seems that the Devils have, indeed, scaled back the aggressiveness of their penalty killers to some degree. Although the approach is similar, it does not appear as if the Devils are attempting to get as many pucks on net. In their power killing glory days, the Devils traditionally were near the top of the league in lowest shots against. But, they were also near the top of the league in generating shots while shorthanded. Last season, they generated 12.3 shots / 60 while shorthanded, good for 3rd in the league. This season, they are 29th out of 30 teams, creating shots at just a 2.6/ 60 pace.

More on that at In Lou We Trust.

You know a team sucks ass when after 9 games into the season a defenceman is leading the team in scoring.

Via Zanstorm.

"It's never easy," head coach Peter DeBoer said of going with Schneider over Martin Brodeur. "You've got two very good goalies at different points in their career. One's the greatest goalie of all-time, the other guy's a legitimate starter in this league, so that situation's never easy."

Awww. poor Pete, hey? First world problems. This will be Schneider's 3rd straight start for NJ. Expect a massive game from him on Thursday.

Steve Bernier is among the Devils who have watched video of Holmstrom screening goalies on the power play.

Coach Pete DeBoer praised Bernier’s skill in front of the net on the power play, but his forte isn’t tipping pucks. "As a screen," Bernier said. "It looks easy but the goalies are so good that they look around you. The best guy in the league at doing it was Holmstrom in Detroit. Sometimes he didn’t get the credit he deserved because they had a great power play. Most of it was because the goalie didn’t see the puck coming. I’ve looked at video of what he did and I try to do the same thing here."

Via NJ.com. Watch for this from Stone Hands vs the Canucks.

YOU MADE MY SHITLIST

Nobody. Sure, the game against the Isles was sloppy, but it was an entertaining win. David Booth wasn't playing because John Tortorella follows my Shitlist closely. Jannik Hansen was well on his way to a stellar game but got hurt early.  Bummer!

Luongo is getting close...not gonna lie. Good thing he has support.

So I'll leave the list empty. It's like Seargant Elias said on Platoon: "Cheer up. You don't have to be an asshole every day of your life!"

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

patrik e: 1

seedvt: 1

Smoboy41: 1

westy99: 1

I had forgotten to give patrik e (Is Sheila E his mother?) a point for predicting the correct GWG scorer vs Columbus. He bitched and whined about it. What is with those Swedes? Bitching and whining! Right Hank?

Hankbitch_medium

VIDEO

The last meeting between these 2 teams:

I miss Scott Stevens.

The title of this preview post has been brought to you by The Stones:

GO CANUCKS GO!

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