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Suddenly hot Canucks look to beat Desert Dogs: Preview and Game Thread

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Next Game

Vancouver Canucks
@ Phoenix Coyotes

Thursday, Feb 12, 2009, 6:00 PM PST Arena

Complete Coverage >

This will be the 3rd time these 2 teams have met this season. Each team has won a game: 4-1 Coyotes in January hell and a 1-0 Canucks victory early in the season. So we have only scored 2 goals against Phoenix this year. The Coyotes snapped a 6-game losing skid last night by defeating the surging Stars 1-0. Huh. How good is Ilya Bryzgalov going to play against us? What kind of effect will playing 2 games in 2 nights have on Phoenix?

Tough to say. No one knows better than Vancouver as to how much 1 win after multiple losses positively affects a teams' psyche. So this could be a really close match.

The Coyotes are part of the Western Conference pack that are close to-but do not hold a playoff spot. A win by them puts them 1 point away from 8th spot Vancouver. A loss by Vancouver in regulation means they will fall to 9th spot as the Oilers have more wins. So it's going to be a playoff-like game.

For a team that has the same amount of wins as us, the Coyotes suck in most of the significant categories:

They rank 20th or worse in the following categories:

Goals per game: 25th

Goals against per game: 21st

5 on 5: 28th

Power Play efficiency: 29th

PK efficiency: 21st

Shots per game: 27th

Shots against per game: 25th

Now for the good:

Winning % when leading after 1 period: 8th

Winning % when leading after 2 periods: 3rd

Now, if we just just leave Joakim Lindstrom off the scoresheet we perhaps should be better off than the 4-1 loss to Phoenix in January. That was Luongo's first game back after his groin injury. Lindstrom not only scored on the Coyotes' first shot of the game. He also scored another goal in the opening period. Dammit, I can still remember that like it was yesterday. Luongo was not sharp in his return. In fact, he still is not playing to his 100% abilities right now. Can he outplay Bryzgalov?

There is no reason why this renewed Canucks team cannot beat the Dogs.