Game Time: 7:00 PST
TV: Sportsnet Pacific
The Enemy: Battle of California (1 Niedermayer vs 1 Sedin. When has that ever happened?)
Anaheim Calling (No more cliches, just start winning)
How time flies. No, not during Canucks games lately. I'm referring to almost exactly a year ago when the Ducks and Canucks played in a freaky Halloween game that took the 13th shooter in a shootout, Mattias Ohlund, to finally end a 7-6 game. It was memorable, make no mistake. What are the chances of that happening tonight? You never know.
Anaheim (3-6-1) is in a world of hurt right now as a team. They find themselves near the bottom of the Western Conference / NHL and at nearly every statistical category. They have had 4 days to think about a 4 game losing streak where they:
-have been outscored 21-9 in the process
-were the team responsible for giving the Leafs their first victory of the season in their last game played.
Jonas Hiller had never allowed 6 goals in a game until that night. He is looking for redemption and will get his chance, as JS Giguere remains sideline with a groin strain.
This game is far from a walk in the park for Vancouver. I'm still scratching my head, creating a bald spot over last night's 2-1 grease win over the Kings. I love the defence and ability to shut down the opposition's top line, but managing only 15 shots isn't going to produce consistent favorable results.
While Andrew Raycroft played admirably last night, he received a lot of help from his mates, who really limited the quality scoring chances against. Like we've said over and over again, Raycroft leaves a lot of the top of the net open when he goes down in his butterfly position (which is all the time). Guys like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry can expose that real quick. So Vancouver is going to have to play defensive again... but still manage more shots..aka, open it up a little. Is this team schizophrenic or what? You never know what's coming next.
Then again, Kevin Bieksa said today:
"We are just going to continue to try and do what we did last night, play very good defensively and take what they give us," said Bieksa. "We obviously have a lot of injuries right now and we'll play our style of game, a nice exciting brand like last night."
Love his sense of humor!
How about a Rypien-Parros fight? That I'd like to see.