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Canucks Look For 6th Straight Win As Blues Come To Town

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Blues (23-21-8)
Canucks (32-18-2)
AT Sedins 

Time 7:00 PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series 2-1 Blues
Last Meeting 4-3 Canucks (Dec. 31)
The Enemy St. Louis Game Time  
Blues Category Canucks
13th Conference Position 4th
6-3-1 Last 10 7-2-1
2.56 (22nd) Goals Per Game 3.23 (3rd)
2.73 (13th) Goals Against Per Game 2.40 (5th)
.96 (19th) 5 On 5 GF/GA 1.38 (2nd)
15.9% (28th) Power Play 22.2% (4th)
85% (5th) Penalty Kill 81.9% (15th)
28.8 (24th) Shots Per Game 29.6 (17th)
30.3 (18th) Shots Against Per Game 29 (7th)
.531 (26th) Winning % When Scoring First .778 (6th)
.625 (24th) Winning % When Leading After 1 .857 (4th)
.667 (30th) Winning % When Leading After 2 .958 (2nd)
49.1 (17th) Faceoffs % 51.4 (7th)
15.9% (28th) Least PIM's Per Game 15.8 (27th)
-7 (18th) + / - +33 (4th)

UPDATE (3:00 PST): Thanks to canucklehead666 and jozsef for pointing these items out earlier: The War With CBC is Over. It's "business as usual" say the Canucks. Also, Hordichuk in and Glass out for tonight's game. Glass is a healthy scratch.

More after the jump..

I'm trying a different format, or look for the game previews. I saw the original concept at the Sabres site Die By The Blade a few days ago and was impressed by it. Hope they don't mind me stealing their idea, but I'll continually modify the look of it to give it our own feel. Imitation is the best form of flattery so they say.

So forget the rumors of David Backes being traded to Vancouver in the near future. Blues GM John Davidson said yesterday that he will not move Backes. I cannot remember where I read another article on that, but the author suggested that perhaps Paul Kariya would be available for Vancouver. I say "no thanks." We need size and preferably someone who isn't over the hill, all but done, and a rumored "whiner."

You may remember the last time the Canucks and Blues played each other: St. Louis blew a 3-0 lead and then lost in OT (the video of that is below). Andy Murray was fired 2 days later, and the Canucks were affectionately labeled "coach killers". Under new coach Davis Payne (great name isn't it?), the Blues are 6-4-2. The Canucks are 8-2-1 since that time.

Over their last 5 games the Blues are 2-2-1. In that span:

-Andy McDonald has 2 goals and 2 assists

-David Perron has 2 goals and 2 assists

-Paul Kariya has 2 goals and 2 assists

-TJ Oshie has 1 goal and 3 assists

-Brad Boyes and Alex Steen each have 1 goal and 2 assists

-Keith Tkachuk has one piddly goal.

David Backes has missed a few games with an upper body injury but may be ready to go against the Canucks. Carlo Colaiacovo (unsure) may not be in the lineup tonight.

There is a lot of bad blood between these 2 teams. There is no love from St. Louis because the Canucks swept the Blues in the first round of last year's playoffs. I would expect a solid effort from them tonight as the hate remains strong. St. Lou is also coming off an impressive 2-0 win over the Flames. Ty Conklin was superb in that game and will get the start tonight.

The Canucks will need the continued team defensive effort that they have shown lately, and continued production and magic from the top 2 lines. I saw a little more chemistry between Kyle Wellwood, Pavol Demitra and Steve Bernier last game. They are slowly getting used to each other and may start capitalizing on their chances soon. As far as that fancy play they made last game, where Wellwood passed between his legs to Demo who then shot between his legs and missed, I think that was unnecessary. Save the for the All Star Game. The score was only 3-2 Nucks at that point and it was later in the 3rd. The Sabres almost tied it up after that. Aside from that, hope to see Luongo keep up his excellent play. The Canucks, fueled by the Burrows saga, seem to be trying to get every point possible before they hit the long winding road. That trip begins Saturday against the Leafs.

It looks like Sami Salo is close to returning. He will join the team on the road trip, but I'm not sure he will play tonight. Willie Mitchell will not ready. He is still suffering from a concussion, and that means he is over a week away from returning.

And now... a few videos to get you into tha groove.

Janssen vs Rypien (12/31/2009). Janssen was hearing bells as this fight rang in the New Year:

Highlights from that game:

This never gets old does it?