|Time||Firday 4:00 PST
||TV||Sportsnet Pacific, RDS
|Season Series||1-0 Canucks
|The Enemy||Japers' Rink||Scoring Leaders||H. Sedin: 10-31-41
|14-17-4||ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD||18-11-5|
|-23||GOALS FOR / AGAINST DIFF.||-9|
|0.90 (21)||5 ON 5 GF / GA DIFF.||0.90 (23)|
|14.3 (27)||POWER PLAY %||23.0 (2)|
|83.9 (9)||PENALTY KILL %||80.3 (23)|
|156 (27)||GOALS SCORED||185 (10)|
3 BIG FACTORS OF THIS GAME
1. How will the already depleted Canucks lineup perform without Ryan Kesler? The heart and soul of this team is back in Vancouver having an MRI done on his right knee after colliding with Jets' Jim Slater last game. He could be done for the season. Does Jordan Schroeder of Shawn Matthias move up to that 2nd line center position. My guess is both will get a look. Where the hell is Brad Richardson? Well, he is being listed as "questionable" for this one. I miss that guy. Zack Kassian returns to the lineup after serving a 3 game suspension for being silly.
2. Both teams are not in the playoff picture as of right now. The Capitals are without Grabovski, Volpatti and Erksine. They are going to be desperate for a win because they sit 3 points behind 8th place Philadelphia. A loss here can almost drive a nail through their playoff hopes, much like what is going on in Vancouver. The Canucks are 4 points out of 8th spot in the West, held by the Stars.
The Stars play the Flames at 5:30 PST on Friday. Maybe do a little scoreboard watching? Most Canucks fans have given up entirely, and that tune could change a little with a win here.
3. Alex Ovechkin and Alex Burrows. Ovechkin has 0 points in his last 3 games, and 1 goal and 1 assist in his last 6. The Caps have lost 3 of those games. By the way, I like that -27, Alex. Bravo! Burrows FINALLY got the damned monkey off his back and scored his first goal of the season last game, and then scored another. Will his scoring ways continue? If he keeps playing like a man possessed like last game then YES.
YOU MADE MY SHITLIST
Lots of names have come this list over the past few games, and I like that. I mean, Burrows was on it all year! Let's see who's the epitome of suckage lately:
-See, Daniel Sedin likely would have busted out his slump by now too, and we'd have out top line back....unfortunately he is injured with no return date in site.
-David Booth has not scored a goal in 28 games. He has only 4 assists in that span. BUY HIM OUT!
-Zac Dalpe gets sweet tweet for ice time so I am not going to pick on him for only having 1 goal and no assists in his last 13 games.
-Alex Edler: 1 assist in his last 8 games. He gets the PP time, he's gotta make it count.
-Dan Hamhuis: 1 assist in his last 13 games. Still sick of him shooting wide...2 assists in his last 21 games. Has not scored a goal since November 9. I shit you not.
-Brad Richardson had 1 assist in 20 games prior to getting injured.
Via the Washington Times:
To get to 92 points now, they would need a 10-3-2 finish to garner the necessary 22 points. But that’s actually been the norm in recent seasons. In the last six years, Washington has managed 22 points or better five times in its last 15 games. The only season it didn’t hit that total was 2011-12 when it still went 9-4-2 for 20 points.
The problem? The schedule. The Caps have a difficult three-game stretch in California next week against Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose – three of the NHL’s eight best teams.
Later, they have a return date at home with the Kings, Boston, the top team in the Eastern Conference, and Chicago, the defending Stanley Cup champion. Finding a way to reach 22 points against that slate is difficult.
And so, in a radio interview with 106.7 – The Fan on Wednesday morning, Laich said his team needed to win home games this weekend against imploding Vancouver and Toronto, which with 78 points is set to reach the postseason for the second year in a row.
10-3-2 huh? Well that's better than what we have to do to make the dance.
CAPS AT THE TRADE DEADLINE
The Capitals flogged Michal Neuvirth to the Blues for Jaroslav Halak at the trade deadline. They also got rid of d-canoe Martin Erat and added Dustin Penner. Not bad, although Penner has no points in his first 5 games with the Caps (we can fix that, btw). The dart-throwers will say that George McPhee did nothing to address the need on the blue line, although they did just sign 22 year-old Dmitry Orlov. Doesn't seem to be a lot of depth on D for Washington, but I'd need a Caps fan to chime in on that one.
The last meeting between these 2 teams was glorious. Check out the confidence of the Canucks team playing with a full deck:
The title of this preview post has been brought to you by Pantera, and crisslave1:
SCORE-PREDICTING WIZARDS UPDATE
Hey, when you're good you're good. Brobidus and myself called a 3-2 Canucks win over the Jets with Higgins scoring the winner. 3-pointers! Here's the leaderboard, and it's lookin' good:
Bobby Canuck: 18
Nathaniel Perlow: 16
Passive Voice: 15
Geordie Nuck: 14
Coach Ryan: 12
Azzy Mahmood: 10
Nathan k: 9
Tim Burke: 4
John Carroll: 2
Kent Basky: 1