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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs St Louis Oct 18/16

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The top teams in the Pacific and Central divisions meet tonight. Did you know that the Canucks are one of the teams in this scenario? Weird, right?

Ben Nelms/Getty Images
7:00 PM PT - Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC
TV: SNV - Radio: TSN 1040

The first true test of this young season comes tonight for the Canucks as they welcome a legit Stanley Cup contender in the form of the St Louis Blues to Rogers Arena.While it's not too much of a shock to see the Blues off to a good start this season, the Canucks have come out of the gate a little clunky but looking, especially in the last half of that game against Carolina Sunday night, like they're ready to prove some people wrong. A win tonight would certainly help that cause.

Canucks
CATEGORY
Blues
2-0-0 SEASON RECORD 3-0-0
4 Points 6
1st Division Position 1st
Won 2
Streak Won 3
2.50 (25)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
3.67 (8)
2.00 (3)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.00 (4)
0.00 (24) Power Play % 30.8 (9)
75.0 (21) Penalty Kill % 90.9 (9)
49.6 (16) Faceoff Win % 51.8 (13)
8.1 (24)
Shooting % 13.3 (7)
58.6 (2)
Corsi For % 46.9 (26)
99.7 (18)
PDO 105.3 (3)

Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com

THE OPPOSITION

The Blues are 3-0-0 to start the year, and have been playing well, with a number of new faces in the crowd after saying goodbye to a couple big pieces of their puzzle over the summer in David Backes and Brian Elliott. They got former 1st overall pick Nail Yakupov from the Oilers for almost literally nothing, and welcomed David Perron back for another go-round with the team.

This Blues team seems like the real deal: speed, skill, size and the kind of defense you are accustomed to seeing with a Ken Hitchcock coached team. Jake Allen is ready to be the #1, and they have a decent backup in Carter Hutton. They've become one of those teams you need to watch, if for no other reason than Vladimir Tarasenko. He reminds me so much of Pavel Bure, so fast and so creative with the puck. The Blues are blessed to have him, for sure.

Paul Stastny's off to a great start for the Blues, 6 points in 3 games so far, followed by Tarasenko with 5 and Alexander Steen with 4. A win for the Blues tonight will give them a 4-0 start for just the 2nd time in their 50 year history. One worrisome stat for tonight: the Blues have played just 25:03 without the lead so far this season. The Canucks have yet to have a lead, so...

THE CANUCKS

Ryan Miller will be in goal tonight, and it seems to be a bigger deal for St Louis fans than it is for us. Guess they still hold a grudge or something. Life's too short, guys. Anyway, while the back to back wins may be cause for some optimism, it certainly isn't enough to change the minds that the Canucks are somehow as good as management thinks they are, it would seem:


The problem is, and will remain to be goal scoring. Sure, they notched 4 in the last game. But we will need to see them produce those kinds of numbers far more consistently if we are to believe this team can actually contend for a spot in the post season. The Canucks haven't won 3 at home to start the season since 1999. Lineups are not out yet, but we're not anticipating any changes for the Canucks aside from the Miller start.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Some bands are just better than others at laying out lethal cover tunes, and REVOCATION are definitely one of them. You're gonna see them a few times here this season, because they just do a masterful job of taking some pretty iconic songs and breathing new life into them. Case in point: 'Surprise, You're Dead!' by FAITH NO MORE. A criminally underrated tune from their legendary album The Real Thing, Revocation throw in some serious double bass, vocal and guitar snarl and make it their own.