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Canucks-Blue Jackets Preview

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It's hard to imagine seeing a better Canucks game than what we saw against Anaheim. The Jackets are a hot/cold team now. The Jackets are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Oilers Monday night. They have won 2 and lost 3 in their last 5 games. The Canucks are better, winning 3 of their last 5 and now coming off 2 shutouts by Roberto Luongo.
A big plus for us is that the shutout master Pascal Leclaire injured his hamstring against Edmonton, and so Fredrik Norrena will play for Columbus tonight. Norrena's stats are not that impressive this year.....

Stats to Ponder

The Jackets are 19th in the NHL on the power play
The Canucks are 11th

The Jackets are 3rd in the NHL on the penalty kill.
We are 23rd.

Streaking Jackets in the last 5 games

Rick Nash: 4 goals 3 assists
Nicolai Zherdev: 2 goals 4 assists
Ron Hainsey: 1 goal 5 assists

Streaking Canucks in the last 5 games

Markus Naslund: 5 goals 3 assists
Ryan Kesler: 4 goals 1 assist
Hank Sedin: 5 assists
Dank Sedin: 1 goal 3 assists
Alex Edler: 1 goal 3 asssists

Man, I am loving the play of Ryan Kesler lately. Sure, Naslund is cooking too. But Kesler is so gritty and a great checker as well. He's an all-round player. 2 words: CONTRACT YEAR. Don't matter. Kess is proving to provide great secondary scoring and I fricking love it. I'm crowning him King right now. He's the Jan Bulis of last year, except with 40% better checking ability, 100% better faceoff ability, and 90% better scoring touch.

So what about tonight's game?
Let me make a guess. I'd say it will be more of a boring style as we have 2 defence-first teams under Vigneault and Hitchcock, playing tight and waiting for the other team to screw up. This game could be decided especially on special teams due to its tightness.
Well, we do have Kesler shadowing we should be fine in 5-on-5 situations. Hopefully we can stay out of penalty trouble. Leave the rest to Luongod, who is on a tear right now.
I say it's going to be close. 2-1 Canucks.

Game Time: 7:00 PST
TV: Sportsnet Pacific (high def if you please!!!!)

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