Canucks At Stars Preview: Great Southern Trendkill

Time Thursday, 5:30 PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series 1-0 Stars
Last Meeting
2-1 Stars Nov. 17/13
The Enemy Defending Big D
Scoring Leaders D. Sedin: 11-21-32
Seguin: 18-15-33
CANUCKS
CATEGORY
STARS
20-10-6 SEASON RECORD 16-12-5
46 POINTS 37
6th CONFERENCE POSITION 10th
Lost 1
STREAK Won 1
8-1-1 LAST 10 4-3-3
10-5-3 ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD 6-4-4
2.75 (11)
GOALS PER GAME AVERAGE 2.79 (9)
2.28 (6) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME AVERAGE 2.97 (24)
1.15 (9) 5 ON 5 GF / GA 1.01 (13)
15.8 (21) POWER PLAY % 11.8 (29)
89.5 (1) PENALTY KILL % 80.9 (22)
32.4 (4) SHOTS/GAME AVG 31.8 (7)
51.1 (14) FACEOFF WINS % 51.3 (11)
683 (25) HITS
703 (22)
540 (10) BLOCKED SHOTS 506 (13)
129 (15) MINOR PENALTIES TAKEN 131 (18)
NHL.COM

The Canucks are in Dallas for the 2nd game of their their mini 3-game road trip, and are about to indulge in yet another back-to-back game scenario (their 8th of the season). They play Chicago on Friday night. I am not even going to engage in a "don't look ahead to Chicago" narrative with this team because they beat Edmonton and Boston handily last weekend. Torts keeps them going.

The Canucks lost 2-1 to the Stars last month. Kari Lehtonen was the game's first star, stopping 42 of 43 shots. That loss was the Canucks' 4th in a row. They could not score to save their lives in that lowest section of the young season. Not a lot of quality shots happening, and some solid opposing goaltending as well. They would lose 5 straight and only score 6 times in that part of November to not remember. So much has happened since then. Like #winning for example.

When I hear the name Texas lately the first thing i think of is cheerleaders. The second thing is this:

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

The Stars sit 7 points out of a playoff spot. They cannot win more than one game in a row. When they beat the Canucks last November, it was their 3rd straight win. Then the curse of the Canucks set in, haha. Yea, screw you, Dallas! 5-5-3 since that win.

TOP 5 STARS SCORERS

1. Seguin: 18-15-33 (3 goals and 3 assists in his last 3 games.) FACK

2. Jamie Benn: 9-19-28 (2 goals and no assists in his last 5)

3. Alex Chiasson: 8-10-18 (3 assists in his last 7 games)

4. Valeri Nichushkin: 5-12-17 (1 goal and 1 assist in his last 5)

5. Cody Eakin: 7-9-16 (0 points in his last 5 games)

6. Aaron Rome: 0-0-0

PROJECTED STARS ROSTER

Benn - Seguin - Nichushkin

Cole - Eakin - Chiasson

Whitney - Peverley - Garbutt

Roussel - Horcoff - Colton Sceviour

Dillon - Goligoski

Benn - Gonchar

Cameron Gaunce - Kevin Connauton**

Lehtonen

Watch out for Ray Whitney. He may be coming back from the dead. Just sayin'.

Injury list: Robidas (broken leg), Daley (sprained ankle), Fiddler (upper body), Rome (lower body).

THE HIGHS AND LOWS

The Dallas Stars season could double as a ride at Six Flags Over Texas. There have been ups and there have been downs. Some people have screamed with delight as they experience the thrills, while at times others may have felt nauseous going through the motions. Yes, to follow Stars hockey this season has indeed been a roller coaster. Only instead of a two-minute ride, it’s been an 11-week adventure. The peaks and pitfalls have come in a variety of forms, and from night to night you can’t be too sure of what is around the next turn. Some nights the Stars will play great and lose. Other nights they’ll play poorly and win. They’ve beaten the likes of Chicago, Anaheim, and San Jose. And they’ve lost to teams like Florida, Winnipeg, and Edmonton.

They’ve had stretches where they were so healthy that they could not find a way to insert players they were curious to see. And then within a couple weeks, they have been so injury-riddled that they literally were dressing multiple players under emergency circumstances as soon as they were called up from the American Hockey League. They have healthy scratched a top-pair defenseman, but also played one who was not on their top-10 pre-season depth chart. Their captain (Benn) literally broke records with a six-point night. And then he did not score a goal in the following 11 games. The number one goaltender got hurt just three games into the season.

That from the Stars' homepage.

CANUCKS MISC

PROJECTED ROSTER

Sedin - Sedin - Hansen

Higgins - Kesler - Santorelli

Booth - Richardson - Kassian

Sestitio - Dalpe - Weise

Hamhuis - Tanev

Weber - Garrison

Bieksa - Alberts. Oh Stanton...we will miss ye.

Luongo

-On Wednesday, John Tortorella talked about the Canucks sucking in shootouts and then offered a couple solutions:

1. Play 3 forwards and 1 d-man on a unit in overtime.

2. Pull the goalie in overtime, heheh, which he is not allowed to do which he thinks is stupid. I agree.

-The Canucks are pretty hush about the injured status of their players, so we don't know how long Ryan Stanton will be out. But we DO know that he and his rock solid presence will be missed. Was that just a badly sprained ankle? He went back on the ice to try it out and went right off the ice again. That could be a month off for him. Damn!

-Not that I really like to link to a Cam Charron piece, ever, but f*** it, his piece at Canucks.com about the improvement of David Booth and the effectivity of Chris Tanev is worth a look.

TRENDS

  • Canucks are 4-1 in their last 5 Thursday games.
  • Canucks are 5-15 in their last 20 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game. Really?
  • Stars are 3-7 in their last 10 home games.
  • Stars are 1-4 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
  • Stars are 1-6 in their last 7 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
  • Stars are 5-1-1 in their last 7 Thursday games.

SCORE-PREDICTING WIZARDS

The list has been updated and can be seen here. Yours truly picked Minnesota to beat the Canucks 3-2 last game and so I got 2 points. Welcome to the list, CombattlerV and hookedoncanuck!

The title of this game preview post has been brought to you by the great ol' Texan band PANTERA:

That is a hell of an aggressive pissed off song, hey?

How about an aggressive pissed off Canucks effort against Dallas?

GO CANUCKS GO!

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