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Assassinate The Senators! Canucks-Sens Preview

Canucks (34-19-2)
Senators (32-21-4)

Time 4:30 PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series 0 - 0
Last Meeting 5-2 Canucks (Feb.19/09)
The Enemy Silver Seven  
Canucks Category Senators
3rd Conference Position 5th
7-3-0 Last 10 10-0-0
3.24 (3rd) Goals Per Game 2.73 (12th)
2.42 (5th)) Goals Against Per Game 2.75 (19th)
1.35 (2nd) 5 On 5 GF/GA .96 (17th)
21.8% (5th) Power Play 15.2% (29th)
81.8% (14th) Penalty Kill 83.3% (8th)
30.1 (14th) Shots Per Game 29.7 (16th)
28.8 (7th) Shots Against Per Game 28.1 (4tth)
77.8% (7th) Winning % When Scoring First 75% (9th)
85.7% (5th) Winning % When Leading After 1 86.7% (4th)
40% (3rd) Winning % When Trailing After 1 23.5% (16th)
95.8% (3rd) Winning % When Leading After 2 95.2% (4th)
26.3% (5th) Winning % When Trailing After2 4.8% (26th)
51.2% (9th) Faceoffs % 49.3% (17th)
15.6 (26th) Least PIM's Per Game 14 (23rd)
+34 (3rd) + / - GF/GA +6 (13th)

UPDATE (12:12): The updated Canucks depth chart has Tanner Glass in for Hordichuk and Nolan Baumgartner in for Brad Lukowich. Sounds about right. Hey! How about a Rypien-Neil tilt? I'm in! Also, (and a hat tip to jevant for pointing this out), Brian Elliot will start again for the Sens. He's on fire! (NBA Jam play-by-play voice inserted there)


The Canucks' road trip continues as they have to put their loss to the Habs on Tuesday night behind them and now face a red hot Senators team that has won 10 games in a row. Ottawa, who finished 11th in the East last season, are now only 15 points away from matching their 83-point total from last season. I think it is fair to say that they are surprising a lot of people after the disappointing season, and then the whole Dany Heatley soap opera over the summer...

Sens goalie Brian Elliott has won 8 straight games. In that span he has allowed only 10 goals. Unreal. Not sure if Elliot plays the Canucks in the 2nd game in 2 nights though. Will Pascal Leclaire return to the net? He has been cleared from injury and has not played since January 12. The Sens and Leclaire were not performing so well back then, as they had lost 5 games in a row. In fact, after Leclaire went down to injury, Mike Brodeur pitched a shutout the next game and the Sens have not lost a game since. What a pleasant goaltending controversy to have!

Equally astounding is that Ottawa has not lost a game since Daniel Alfredsson returned from injury January 16. Jason Spezza returned from an injury on January 23rd and has scored in every game since. Let's look at who is rolling for the Sens in their last 5 games:

-Spezza has 6 goals and 1 assist

-Aldredsson has 3 goals and 2 assists

-Alex Kovalev has 2 goals and 2 assists

-19-year-old Erik Karlsson and Filip Kuba each have 4 assists

-Nick Foligno has 1 goal and 3 assists

-Mike Fisher has 2 goals and 1 assist.

Damn, what I wouldn't do to have Mike Fisher on our team. He's been one of my faves for a while now.

Jonathan Cheechoo has only 1 goal in the 10-game winning streak. What a fail. The other player in the Heatley deal, Milan Michalek, has only 2 goals and 1 assist in his last 6 games, but 18 goals and 7 assists over the season. Sniper!

The Canucks have to put out more or less the same offensive effort as the Montreal game and hope they capitalize on their chances. Less defensive zones follies and a better performance from Roberto Luongo are in order. Where did that "lights-out" Luongo go? We saw a bit of it a few games ago but it disappeared right away. Defensive lapses can be blamed from time to time, but a goalie making that kind of moolah needs to bail out his mates too.

When oh when will Line 3 start scoring?

Here are a few clips to get you into the groove:

1. Remember when we had this guy? His offence has not materialized yet in Ottawa.

2. Highlights from the last time these 2 teams played on February 19, 2008.

3. Nice little dance between Darcy Hordichuk and Chris Neil