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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks @ Arizona- Jan 26/17

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It definitely wasn't pretty, but you know what we've said about style points. The Canucks are now in a playoff spot, and can solidify that with their last game before the All Star Break. Don't get too excited, for danger lurks on the other side...

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Vancouver Canucks vs. Arizona Coyotes

6:00 PM PT - Gila River Arena- Glendale, AZ

TV: SNP - Radio: TSN 1040

It started out looking like the Canucks were going to stomp a mudhole in the Colorado Avalanche, firing 20 shots on Calvin Pickard in the first 20 minutes. After that, it was pretty much an even contest, the Canucks blew a 2-0 lead and needed a PP goal (this is not a typo) on the road (this is also not a typo) to secure the win (once again, not a typo), and vault the Calgary Flames into the 2nd Wild Card spot (yeah, this... well you get the picture).

Does Willie D deserve some credit for getting this team playing better hockey since Christmas? Sure. And with the injuries this team has had to endure, it's fairly remarkable. Credit should also go to Jim Benning, because last night's goalscorers, Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund both came to the team via some (at the time) unpopular trades. Those trades are starting to look better and better each time one of these guys score. The Canucks have an opportunity to move even higher in the standings tonight (they'll need Minnesota to defeat the struggling St Louis Blues to do it) but if that happens they'll be in the 1st Wild Card slot. Excited? You won't be when you look at what awaits them on the other side of the All Star break.

Canucks
CATEGORY
Coyotes
23-20-6 SEASON RECORD 15-26-6
52 Points 36
4th Division Position 7th
Won 1
Streak Won 2
2.35 (26)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.15 (29)
2.76 (17)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
3.21 (29)
14.1 (28) Power Play % 14.9 (26)
80.2 (22) Penalty Kill % 77.3 (26)
52.1 (5) Faceoff Win % 48.1 (22)
8.3 (23)
Shooting % 7.5 (27)
48.6 (23)
Corsi For % 46.2 (29)
99.3 (18)
PDO 98.1 (27)

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

THE OPPOSITION

The Coyotes are looking to win 3 straight for the first time this season, and will do so with Mike Smith in goal for them. They are missing a couple important pieces in Shane Doan and Max Domi. Doan is listed as day to day, while Domi has been out for a while with a hand injury. Fun fact: the Coyotes have Chris Pronger on LTIR. Yes, Chris Pronger of the Department of 'Player Safety', is still not retired and allowing the Coyotes to manipulate the salary cap. Yay, loopholes!

THE CANUCKS

After a solid outing from Jacob Markstrom last night, the Canucks will go with Ryan Miller tonight. Both goalies have been the reason the Canucks are in the situation they are right now, as the Canucks have the least amount of goals allowed since the Christmas break. Take a moment to let that sink in. And that has some thinking that they might keep Miller around for one more season, giving Markstrom a little more time to grow into the starter role before they bring Thatcher Demko in as the backup. Not sure what I think about that, honestly. Ask me at the end of this road trip coming up.

Ah yes, the road trip. It is a total warm, fuzzy feeling right now for Canucks fans, especially if they can win again tonight. But next week, it gets tough. Like, toughest stretch of the entire season tough. After home games against San Jose and Minnesota, they hit the road to play Nashville, Columbus, Boston and Buffalo (back to back with the Boston game at 10 am PST), Pittsburgh, St Louis, then one day off before Calgary and Philadelphia back to back at Rogers Arena. They have another game against the Sharks before the month is done, too.You don't even wanna look at March's schedule because it's scary af.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Having just left Colorado, let's go back there for a new track from HAVOK, who will be releasing their new album 'Conformicide' on Century Media Records March 10.