Canucks At Coyotes Preview: F****** Hostile

C'mon, laugh! It's funny! - pheenster
Time Thursday, 6:00 PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series 1-0-1 Each
Last Meeting
3-2 Canucks Dec. 6/13
The Enemy Five For Howling Scoring Leaders H. Sedin: 9-31-40
Vrbata: 11-23-34
CANUCKS
CATEGORY
COYOTES
24-15-9 SEASON RECORD 21-16-9
57 POINTS 51
7th CONFERENCE POSITION 9th
Lost 2
STREAK Lost 4
3-4-3 LAST 10 2-6-2
12-9-4 ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD 12-7-3
1.01 (15)
5 ON 5 GF / GA 1.06 (10)
15.4 (23) POWER PLAY % 19.6 (9)
86.5 (2) PENALTY KILL % 78.2 (26)
51.3 (10) FACEOFF WINS % 52.4 (5)
949 (23) HITS
1239 (6)
731 (9) BLOCKED SHOTS 620 (22)
170 (13) MINOR PENALTIES TAKEN 183 (23)
NHL.COM

Don't worry, the most goals the Canucks have given up in a game is 13, twice, in 1984 and 1985.

I am not going to say squat about Paul Devorski in this preview.

This Canucks 3-game road trip, in my opinion, is of the crucial variety. Sure, it was crucial to stand up to the Kings, take a bunch of penalties and still only lose 1-0. That's a good statement for future games against them. Then, after a war like that in LA, they have no legs against the Ducks and get destroyed 9-1. That is a bad statement to make for future games against the Ducks. That 9-1 loss will stick in their minds like a sickness and demons will have to be exorcized as the lop-sided loss just amplifies the Canucks' futility against them.

The best thing that can happen now is for the team to get all their heads together in the same place, swear to each other a better effort less than 24 hours after the blowout, and go out and beat the Phoenix Coyotes, losers of 4 straight.

Is there a "tired team" excuse available should all fail in Arizona? Some might say. Not me. I think the Canucks are good enough to play as a team and get the job done. I will attribute fatigue of sorts to the Anaheim game. That's simple. Who was by far the best Canuck last game? They guy who was a healthy scratch in previous games. He wasn't even in the war. Also, the Ducks are dominant on their ice. They own that sh*t.

-Is Tony Gallagher gonna break out another "this team can't score" story? The Canucks have only scored 3 goals in their last 3 games (1 win, 2 losses). That seems to happen to them in spurts, especially when they play Pacific Division teams consecutively. And speaking of that, let's get to:

YOU MADE MY SHITLIST

-Ryan Kesler has no points in 4 straight games.

-Chris Higgins only has 1 goal and 2 assists in his last 10. 2 of those points came in one game (vs Shitsburgh), yes I am copy/pasting from last game's preview.

-Mike Santorelli has 1 goal and 0 assists in his last 8 games. He has 2 goals and no assists in his last 11. This guy was the straw that stirred the drink, but much like Mason Raymond in Toronto, the party is over...for now.

-Henrik Sedin: 1 assist in his last 4 games, but 7 assists in his last 9 games. You just wouldn't think it.

-Daniel Sedin: 1 assist in his last 4 games.

-Brad Richardson: 1 goal and no assists in his last 9 games.

-Dan Hamhuis: 1 assist in his last 7 games.

-Dale Weise: 1 assist in his last 13 games.

-Yannick Weber: 1 assist in his last 12 games.

That's a lot of drying up happening to far too many f***ing players. It's no wonder they have lost 7 of their last 8 games.

IN TORTS I TRUST?

So what's the plan, John? Stay the course, right? Tortorella preaches team defence and a tenacious forechecking style. That's nice when it works. It looks like hell when it doesn't. The team looks completely gassed a lot of the time. Is that really an issue with Tortorella's demanding style? I would like to say "no". At times I wonder though.

As far as the stricter defence goes, I'm not following. Sometimes the Canucks are gold at it. Other times I lose track of odd-man rushes against. Must be an execution issue. Lack of goals scored? An execution issue. Torts will iron these things out with the guys. We've seen these guys play Tort's way and when they do as a group it looks like NO team can beat them, BUT...

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GET THAT POWER PLAY GOING! That would be a nice place to start, along with more consistent and less head-scratching defensive efforts.

RANDOM IDEA:

Take the Sedins off the penalty kill, especially if the team takes more than 2 penalties. Sure, they are very good at it, but save them for 5 on 5 and the power play only. I think Alain Vigneault was right to do it that way.  Is Jannik Hansen that lousy on the PK? He gets so little time there.

SECOND BEST

For the first time this season, the Canucks are not ranked #1 on the penalty kill. Allowing 6 power play goals against the Ducks did that.

PANIC TIME?

Hell no. But concerning are the losses against the tougher teams lately. The 2-1 win over the Blues was super. But they just fed the "we can't beat the top 3 Pacific Division teams" a full course meal including dessert.

But, look at the next 6 opponents: Phoenix, Calgary, Edmonton, Nashville, and then Phoenix and Edmonton again. If they go .500 on the next 6 I hit the "trade somebody" button. I just don't see them faltering here. I see the opposite happening. That power play though....something's gotta change.

SCORE-PREDICTING WIZARDS UPDATE

Only kiwinuck got a point last game for picking Selanne to score the winner. The updated standing can be found here.

VIDEO

A 9-1 loss was close to making Tortorella explode in front of the media...but nope:

Didn't even shit-talk the refs. Good man.

The last time the Canucks and Coyotes met:

Happy endings!

The title of this game preview post has been brought to you by a band that really could express anger in a most excellent way:

GO CANUCKS GO!

 photo agy1RKK_460sa_zpse337ca6d.gif

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