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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs New Jersey- Jan 15/17

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Stumbling and bumbling along, getting loser points and staying close. This still doesn't seem to be enough to make any kind of change on things like the PP for the Canucks. Watch out for that rock, Willie (again)!

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks vs. New Jersey Devils

4:00 PM PT - Rogers Arena- Vancouver, BC

TV: SN - Radio: TSN 1040

It is the theme song of the season: the Canucks played well in spurts, had a chance to win but couldn't get it done. And the chorus? If they had even a marginally functioning power play, it most surely would have been a different outcome. The Flyers damn near gifted that one to the Canucks, taking a number of penalties including 2 double minors for high-sticking, but the impotent Canucks PP once again did little, managing a goal during the 1st period 5 on 3, but finishing the night 1-6, and most notably, failing to get a shot in the PP at the end of OT.

They're back home now, having missed an opportunity with these road losses. Not only are they now 3 points back of the Kings for the last Wild Card spot thanks to LA's 9th OT win of the season against Winnipeg last night, but they're also now trailing Nashville. The same Nashville Predators they gave a point to in that brutal last second OT loss.

Canucks
CATEGORY
Devils
20-19-5 SEASON RECORD 17-18-9
45 Points 43
6th Division Position 7th
OT2 Streak Won 1
2.41 (25)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.18 (28)
2.86 (19)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.86 (18)
13.7 (27) Power Play % 13.3 (28)
79.7 (22) Penalty Kill % 83.0 (10)
52.3 (5) Faceoff Win % 50.4 (11)
8.5 (22)
Shooting % 7.9 (25)
48.6 (22)
Corsi For % 46.5 (28)
99.3 (21)
PDO 98.8 (25)

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

THE OPPOSITION

It's been a rough year for the Devils so far. Sure, Taylor Hall's been pretty much as advertised, but our old pal Cory Schneider has looked like a mere mortal this year, and for a team that's not so good on D and doesn't score a lot, that's a recipe for failure (and trust us, we know what this tastes like).

This here's another one of those games against what you would call a comparable. Just because the Canucks are sniffing at the post-season doesn't mean they're miles ahead of the Devils. No, this is a team that's pretty much in the same boat as our boys in blue and green. The only real difference is New Jersey hasn't forgotten how to kill penalties, apparently.

Speaking of Schneider, he will get the start today for New Jersey. I gotta be honest, I don't even know if they have a backup goalie, because it seems like he plays every night for them. While Schneids has played well this month, his numbers compared to last season are night and day different, and it's definitely impacting the Devils success.

And on the subject of Taylor Hall, this is also the rematch game since that hit on Philip Larsen that has him still out of the lineup with post-concussion symptoms. Not saying this needs to be addressed or anything, but if anyone gets a chance for a clean lick on Hall, smart money says they take it.

THE CANUCKS

Ryan Miller will again tend the crease for the Canucks, as they look to break even against the Devils in the season series. The Canucks have won 3 of the last 4 against the Devils at home, and they're going to need to return to their winning ways on home ice, as some pretty important road games are lurking in the distance that could quite literally make or break their season.

Today against New Jersey, a rematch against Nashville and Friday night's tilt against Roberto Luongo and the Florida Canucks Army Alumni Panthers all need to be wins before a week that sees them visit Chicago and then a back to back against Colorado and Arizona (again, wtf?). Then after the All Star break it's San Jose and Minnesota at home before a 6 game road trip visiting Nashville, Columbus, a fucking 10 am game in Boston (seriously NHL, that's some next level bullshit), the next night in Buffalo, then Pittsburgh and St Louis. That is followed by one day off, before a back to back at home against the Flames and Philadelphia. When we try and do the post mortem on the Canucks season in April if they're not still playing, it will likely focus on this stretch riiiiiight here.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

These days, Canucks games seem to require more libation to get through, so here's Germany's beer-soaked thrashers TANKARD with the tale of a man who's body produced it's own beer: Fooled By Your Guts!