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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks @ Arizona Nov 23/16

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Have we all recovered from Saturday night's soul-crusher? Good. Nothing like a road trip to clear away all those *looks at the Canucks road record this season* ... Oh, COME ON, MAN!?!?!

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks vs. Arizona Coyotes

7:00 PM PT - Gila River Arena, Glendale, AZ

TV: SNP - Radio: TSN 1040

For two periods, that game on Saturday looked much more like the Canucks from 4 or 5 years ago. Then came the third period, which was pretty much the poster child for your new Canucks. The worst part? If you thought they were gonna hold that lead, well... bless your lil heart. That was as predictable as rain in Vancouver. Sure, they got a point out of the deal, and damned if that wasn't the best overtime we've seen since the league made the switch to 3 on 3 in the extra session, but it's just so damn demoralizing to be right when they just roll over like that. You want to be wrong in that situation, but you know in your heart, it just ain't happening.

Canucks
CATEGORY
Coyotes
7-10-2 SEASON RECORD 6-9-2
16 Points 14
6th Division Position 7th
OT 1
Streak Won 1
2.11 (29)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.53 (19)
3.16 (25)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
3.29 (28)
12.3 (27) Power Play % 13.7 (24)
83.3 (13) Penalty Kill % 76.5 (28)
51.4 (7) Faceoff Win % 48.0 (26)
7.0 (28)
Shooting % 9.0 (13)
51.3 (9)
Corsi For % 45.3 (29)
96.0 (30)
PDO 99.4 (17)

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

THE OPPOSITION

It really shouldn't be this way, but holy crap is this an important game tonight. There's that stat that tells us that almost 80% of the teams in a playoff position after American Thanksgiving make the post season. And with a win tonight, the Coyotes can leap frog the Canucks into 6th. Yes, the Canucks will be last in the Pacific with a loss tonight, folks. And while technically it's true that they're close to the bubble, both of these teams need to get the 2 tonight if they want to stay in this thing. In November. Ugh.

The Canucks did win the first meeting of the season between these teams last week, and it was a costly loss for the Coyotes as they lost Brad Richardson to that horrific tibia/fibula fracture combo. Good gawd I still get a shiver thinking about that. Anyway, the Coyotes are looking to do something the Canucks failed to do on Saturday, and that's string two wins together. They managed a 3-2 OT win over San Jose, and looking to notch a win over Vancouver for Richardson (and for the captain of their Tuscon farm team Craig Cunningham) might be fueling them tonight. They sent 19 year old Dylan Strome back to the OHL yesterday, meaning he will be eligible for the WJC over the holidays, helping Team Canada's chances immensely.

THE CANUCKS

So the last time the Canucks went out on the road, they lost 5 of 6 and people were amazed that Willie Desjardins still had a job. With three winnable games in Arizona, Dallas and Colorado over the next 4 nights, the Canucks might want to actually win some of these if they want to keep him employed.

With Derek Dorsett and Jannik Hansen still out, the Canucks have called up Joseph LaBate from Utica. He was pretty solid in preseason action for the Canucks, with a decent mix of skill and grit. We'll probably see Ryan Miller in goal tonight, while Mike Smith should get the nod for Arizona. The Canucks will need to get their gawd-awful PP going against the Coyotes, after blowing an opportunity against the league's worst in the Chicago Blackhawks by only scoring once on the PP. Yeah, it's that bad. Maybe Willie will change things up and try something new?

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Lucky you, it's Napalm Death Day! They're another band that's fond of covers, having released an EP and then a full album of some amazing cover tunes. Here's some of my favorites from those:

Here's one they did of Victoria's legendary DAYGLO ABORTIONS