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Canucks-Hurricanes Preview: Gee, Nice Start Time...

Probably the only good thing going for the Hurricanes these days.
Probably the only good thing going for the Hurricanes these days.


Dan Murphy just tweeted the following: "Aside from Raycroft, no line-up changes expected today. Hansen likely to stay on 2nd line."



TV: Sportsnet

The Opposition: Canes Country

Like Jason Botchford mentioned in the Province today, it was about a year ago that Roberto Luongo played in a morning game (pacific time) against the Penguins. He wrecked his groin on that fateful day. I don't think that plays a role in Andrew Raycroft getting the start against the Canes. Louie has played in 10 straight games, and has a 6-4-0 record in that span, along with a shiny 2.01 GAA and a .929 save percentage.

Raycroft's last start was not very pretty. On November 10th he started a game against the Blues and allowed 4 goals on 13 shots in the first period and was yanked. The Canucks admitted that they hung Raycroft out to dry in that game. They had also just come off a 5-day layoff and were not sharp. Now, with a healthy roster and less days off, the Canucks are kicking some serious ass on this road trip.

So, what on earth is wrong with the Hurricanes?

They have been without Cam Ward since November 7 due to a leg injury. In the 15 games with Ward in the lineup they had only won 2 games. Up to his injury, Ward and his mates had lost 10 straight games. Even so, his numbers were not terrible, according to ESPN.

Since the Ward injury, the Hurricanes have gone with the goalie tandem of Michael Leighton and Manny Legace. In those 11 games they lost 8. Manny Legace will start against Vancouver. Carolina has had 4 days off.

2009 - Manny Legace 8 465 2 4 25 3.23 227 202 .890 0

If you take a look at the Hurricanes' scoring leaders you can see many glaring problems. Tuomo Ruutu is leading the team in scoring with 6 goals and 16 points in 23 games. Rod Brind'Amour is a -19! Eric Staal..where did you go? 3 goals and 9 points in 17 games. He won't stay that lousy forever. Their highest scoring d-man is Joe Corvo with 4 goals and 12 points in 27 games played. He is a -10. Edit: He's also injured.

Will Chad LaRose and/or Jussi Jokinen play?

I wonder how well newly-acquired Jiri Tlusty will fit in.

Let's look at the comparative stats:

-The Hurricanes sit last in the East and the NHL...8 points behind the Leafs! Yikes!

-The Canucks are trying to get into the top 8 in the West and are almost there.

-Goals Per Game Average: Canucks 5th, Canes 30th

-Goals Against Per game Average: Canucks 7th, Canes 30th

-5 on 5: Canucks 5th, Canes 30th

-PowerPlay: Canucks 3rd, Canes 29th

-Penalty Kill: Canes 20th, Canucks 21st

-Shots Per Game: Canes 9th, Canucks 13th

-Shots Against Per Game: Canucks 11th, Canes 16th

-Faceoff %: Canucks 9th, Canes 22nd.

Should be an automatic win, right? Nope. That depends on how lightly the Canucks take these guys. They have to go out there and pretend those guys are wearing Devils jerseys.