Canucks At Rangers Preview: And Still I Want

http://www.greatesthockeylegends.com
Time Saturday, 11:00 AM PST
TV Sportsnet Pac, NHLN-US
Season Series -
Last Meeting
4-0 Rangers, Oct. 18/11
The Enemy Blueshirt Banter Scoring Leaders H. Sedin: 7-20-27
Richards: 7-11-18

CANUCKS
CATEGORY
RANGERS
13-9-5 SEASON RECORD 13-13-0
31 POINTS 26
9th CONFERENCE POSITION 8th
Won 1
STREAK Lost 1
3-4-3 LAST 10 5-5-0
8-4-2 ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD 4-5-0
2.63 (16)
GOALS PER GAME AVERAGE 2.12 (28)
2.48 (12) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME AVERAGE 2.46 (11)
1.06 (16) 5 ON 5 GF / GA 0.74 (26)
12.4 (27) POWER PLAY % 17.8 (18)
89.9 (1) PENALTY KILL % 85.9 (5)
32.8 (3) SHOTS/GAME AVG 31.1 (10)
50.8 (14) FACEOFF WINS % 48.0 (24)
508 (24) HITS
616 (14)
400 (10) BLOCKED SHOTS 358 (17)
101 (20) MINOR PENALTIES TAKEN 101 (19)
NHL.COM

Hello Veenyo!  The biggest storyline from the MSM for this matchup is the trading of the head coaches over the summer. Torts didn't want to entertain that today:

"We’re going in there to coach and be with the team and try to win a hockey game and we’re getting the hell out of there."

So screw the media trying to pull shit and get more hits off Torts in this one. It's all about getting a win.

**** YOU RANGERS WE HATE YOU!

Deep down in Canucks fans' hearts (for those old enough to have experienced it), was the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. The 7-game Rangers-Canucks classic that was probably the most-entertaining Finals in NHL history. The series that was decided by ONE goal. The completely-loaded Rangers roster against the heart and soul Canucks roster.

The HELL YEA! :

The CLASSIC CALL:

CHECK THIS OUT. Some cool Canucks fan compiled 14 minutes of the best moments of Game 7:

UGH. Ouch. Especially this:

Unreal. It will live in Canucks infamy. Lafayette will be forever scorned. THAT is what is more important about this game than the fact that this is two head coaches facing their former teams. It's that old hatred where older Canucks fans wanna beat the Rangers' heads in every time we rarely play them. It just feels so good.  I'm sure the Keenan-Messier debacle stokes the fire too, right?

Speaking of 1994, I have to give a shout out to Terrace, BC's Joe Pelletier, who continues to write and maintain an incredible NHL history website called Greatest Hockey Legends. Since we are approaching the 20-year anniversary of the Canucks - Rangers Final, Joe wrote several memoir posts about that Final and the Canucks' playoff run called Remembering The 1993-94 Vancouver Canucks. It's amazing to re-live it for better or worse through Joe's words. More from Pelletier on that Canucks team:

June 11th/14th, 1994 - The Highs, The Lows

Bure-ing The Flames
The Russian Rocket
Captain Kirk

Shooting Down The Stars
The Elbow
The Mighty Pat Quinn
Cliff Ronning: The Little Man That Could

Be-Leaf It Or Not!
Forever A Canuck: Trevor Linden
Greg Adams! Greg Adams!

New York: All The World Is A Stage
The Penalty Shot
Nathan Lafayette And That Damn Goal Post
What A Mess!
Doug Lidster: The Lone Ranger
It Was A Riot!

June 15th, 2011: Looking Back At 1994

Thanks Joe! Keep up the excellent work!

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

On to the NOW. The Rangers had a 5-7-0 October and have had an 8-6-0 record in November. 5-5-0 in their last 10, but 1-2 in their last 3. The NYR sit in 8th place in the East right now, 1 point ahead of New Jersey and Carolina, and 2 points ahead of Philadelphia and Ottawa. It's a dogfight. The Canucks know what that's like right now, 3 points out of a playoff spot. Both teams will be fighting hard to win this one.

The Rangers lost 3-2 to the Bruins on Friday in a game Alain Vigneault said they deserved to lose. Blueshirt Banter's Bryan Winters said:

I think I speak for everyone when I say that was probably the most frustrating loss thus far for the New York Rangers. They carried the momentum throughout the later part of the first period, but it started to become nonexistent as the game carried on. The Boston Bruins were simply outworking the Rangers in all areas of the ice, and weren't giving the Rangers anything to work with.

More on that here. Great, so we get a pissed off Rangers team.

PROJECTED RANGERS LINES

Hagelin - Richards - Nash (Don't think Richards won't play like a man possessed to smite his former coach)

Kreider - Stepan - Zuccarello

Pouliot - Brassard - Callahan

Boyle - D. Moore - Dorsett

McDonagh - Girardi

Staal - Stralman

Falk - John Moore

Lundqvist

TOP 5 RANGERS SCORERS

1. Brad Richards: 7-11-18

2. Derek Stepan: 5-12-17

3. Ryan McDonagh: 6-8-14

4. Mats Zuccarello: 3-11-14

5. Chris Kreider: 3-10-13

I wonder if AV is getting flashbacks of the Canucks' 2007 roster. It feels like the same thing to me. He's gotta be preaching defence in New York with limited scoring sources, and he has a world class goaltender.

CANUCKS MISC

HE SAID IT

"I don’t know if that’s going to happen every game, but sometimes guys need to get a kick in the ass,"

Roberto Luongo said about John Tortorella's rant in the Canucks' locker room after the first period against Ottawa.

On the Torts-AV switch:

"That’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that, a coaching switch like that," Luongo said.

"It was for the best.

"Nothing against AV, but we needed change and so far we are really happy with Torts."

Tortorella not only has a more aggressive way of getting his point across, but he's also a great teacher. More on that at The Province.

BOOTH AND THE SHORT LEASH

A superb 2 games for David Booth since his return to the Canucks' lineup. He was rewarded on the scoresheet against the Sens with a goal and an assist. It looks as though he is gaining confidence after working with a skating coach. His speed has picked up as has his power game. The unfortunate thing is that he is on a short leash. "Baby steps" Tortorella said of Booth's performance in Ottawa. Hell, I was more stoked than that, but it's fair to be cautious. Booth has a lot of bad Canucks history to put behind him, including staying healthy and contributing on a more regular basis.

HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE GOAL EXPLOSION

5 goals against the Sens has Canucks fans buzzing that perhaps the scoring drought is over. Not so fast. Fans want 4 goals all the time. Not so fast. The Sens' D and goaltending sucked. This game against the Rangers aims to be more about defence than offence. The Canucks may have to win a very close one. Which leads to my key to the game:

SCORE FIRST AND MAKE THEM OPEN UP AND STAY ON THEM.

Simple as that. If the Canucks can get on the Rangers early and bag one we could very well see more goals from them, again.

  • The Canucks are 8-4-2 on the road and 9-3-2 against the Eastern Conference this season.
  • The Canucks need to put a string of wins together to get themselves back into a playoff spot. Nice win in Ottawa, but I want more!

YOU MADE MY SHITLIST

Booth and Garrison are off the list! Congrats, guys! Alexandre Burrows is finally ON IT. 15 games played this season. No goals and 3 assists. 1 assist in his last 9 games. His 16:22 played against the Sens was his second-lowest time-on-ice of the season. His shots are going wide. Really wide at times. Off the post other times. Snake bit. I know, he had the foot injury, but enough is enough. Time for Burr to break out and do that "break his stick over his knee" thang. In a shootout maybe?

Kudos to Burr for playing a complete game though. He is Mr. Everything after all. Right now he just happens to be Mr. Everything On A Shitlist.

SCORE-PREDICTING WIZARDS UPDATE

A few point-getters there, including Azzy Mahmood, who called a 5-2 Canucks score. Well done. The updated list can be seen HERE.

The title of this game preview post has once again been brought to you by Killswitch Engage:

GO CANUCKS GO!

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