Canucks At Blue Jackets Game Preview: The Good Ol' Hockey Game!

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CANUCKS

BLUE JACKETS

AT

Time Thu. 4:00 PM PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series 2011-12: 3-0-1 Canucks
Last Meeting
4-3 Canucks Mar. 17/12
The Enemy The Cannon Scoring Leaders D. Sedin: 8-14-22
Prospal: 9-5-14

Canucks

Category

Jackets

11-6-5
Season Record
7-12-4
27
Points
18
3rd
Conference Position
15th
Lost 2
Streak
Won 2
3-4-3
Last 10
3-5-2
5-3-2
< Road Record / Home Record >
5-4-3
2.77 (16)
Goals Per Game Average
2.22 (27)
2.54 (11)
Goals Against Per Game Average
2.96 (22)
1.20 (6)
5 On 5 GF/GA
0.73 (28)
15.9 (20)
Power Play %
14.1 (27)
80.0 (19)
Penalty Kill %
85.2 (7)
48.6 (22)
Faceoffs %
50.1 (16)
469 (20)
Hits
575 (6)
257 (28)
Blocked Shots
253 (29)
95 (20)
Minor Penalties Taken
95 (21)
NHL.com

OK, so we can look at the Columbus Blue Jackets as an easy target (them being last in the NHL) and celebrate a guaranteed 4 points over the next 3 games (because we play them twice) right? Nope. The BJ's have won 2 in a row (against Edmonton and Colorado) and got at least a loser point in the 2 games prior to that (versus Chicago and Dallas).

I don't trust the Canucks against lowly teams. Not one bit. But if we see the same effort they showed against the Sharks, this won't be a problem.....hopefully. That power play has got to get going. Guys need to pass less, double clutch less and shoot more. If the current group won't shoot, then I suggest adding David "Shitlist" Booth to the top unit to show them what shooting is.

Speaking of special teams, look at the Blue Jackets' PK! 7th-best in the NHL. When I saw that stat I thought, :oh christ, now we are playing a team that blocks a lot of shots, again!" Nope. They are 29th in the NHL in blocked shots. So I figured I'd ask Matt Wagner from The Cannon how the BJ's are so successful when down a man. His response:

The Jackets' success on the PK comes from winning faceoffs, aggressively pursuing the puck, and working hard to drive the play into the offensive zone. Guys like Brandon Dubinsky (when healthy), Artem Anisimov, Derek MacKenzie, and Matt Calvert are fantastic at using their speed and good puck sense to cut off passes and create turnovers, which they then push past the red line and down. They're also getting some excellent goaltending on the PK, particularly from Sergei Bobrovsky, but it starts from everyone buying in on taking control of the puck at every opportunity.

So watch for that from Columbus. But I can almost assure you the Canucks will shoot more on the PP since there are less blocks. And of course, Burrows will screen Bobrovsky. If they can get that PP rolling, along with a deadly 5 on 5, they should win this.


PROJECTED TEAM ROSTERS / LINES

LA LA LA LUONGO

Sedin - Sedin - Burrows

Higgins - Raymond - Hansen (thrive with no Kesler, don't they?)

Booth - Lapierre - Kassian

Sestito - Schroeder - Weise

Edler - Tanev

Hamhuis - Garrison

Barker - Ballard


FOR COLUMBUS:

Bobrovsky

Calvert - Anisimov - Atkinson

Umberger - Johansen - Foligno

Prospal - Letestu - Dorsett

Gillies - Mackenzie - Boll (I smell violence coming on..)

Tyutin - Jack Johnson

Erixon - former Canuck Adrian Aucoin

Cody Goloubef - Dalton Prout

GETTING TO KNOW A COUPLE OF BJ'S

Defenceman Cody Goloubef. 23 year-old drafted 37th overall by Columbus in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The native of Mississauga, Ontario has only played in 10 NHL games (all this season), scoring 1 goal, no assists and is a -1. 6'1", 194 pounds.

Defenceman Dalton Prout. The 22 year-old, LaSalle Ontario native was drafted 154th overall by Columbus in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. A right-handed shot like Goloubef. He has played in 8 NHL games over the past 2 seasons with no points yet and is a +1. 6'2", 222 pounds.

STROMBONE1 AT IT AGAIN

TRENDS

  • Canucks are 7-1 in their last 8 Thursday games. WOOO!
  • Canucks are 7-3 in their last 10 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation.
  • Canucks are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
  • Canucks are 1-5 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a losing home record (see what I mean?)
  • Canucks are 1-5 in their last 6 games playing on 1 days rest.
  • Blue Jackets are 7-20 in their last 27 Thursday games.
  • Blue Jackets are 1-4 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
  • 71% of the pros at Covers.com have the Canucks taking this one.

YOU MADE MY SHITLIST

Booth played with a lot of piss and vinegar again last game. So I'll give him a pass. That leaves only one man: Zack Kassian. No goals and 1 assist in his last 10.

I LOVE YOU, MAN!

Jannik Hansen. 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 3 games! Atta boy, Beaker!


SCORE-PREDICTING WIZARDS UPDATE

No change!

VIDEO

The last time these teams met (remember Edler's Bobby Orr goal?):

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

Rest in Peace, Stompin' Tom Connors (1936 - 2013). Thank you for the music and the memories.

GO CANUCKS GO!

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