At times it looks like they're doing it in spite of themselves, but the Canucks have now won 4 straight and are looking to make it five in a row for the first time this season. With a Montreal win in Dallas and a Colorado victory in Calgary, a Canucks win tonight would leave them one point behind the Flames for that last wild card spot. Let that sink in for a moment. Sure, there were many of us who thought the predictions of a 65 point season for the Canucks were off base, but can this team really defy the odds and move back into a playoff spot, let alone stay there?
||Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
||Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
|14.2 (26)||Power Play %||14.3 (25)|
|80.0 (22)||Penalty Kill %||74.6 (29)|
|52.3 (5)||Faceoff Win %||48.2 (24)|
||Shooting %||7.4 (26)|
||Corsi For %||46.1 (29)
Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com
Those stat lines are pretty ugly, eh? Arizona's 2nd last in nearly every category as they attempt to rebuild or something. I mean, unlike Colorado, where Joe Sakic is making Trevor Linden look like a frickin' genius, the Arizona Coyotes have a plan. They're slowly building via the draft, and while they're gonna be bad for a while, you can see that they have planted the seed for the future. The question is, how much longer can they continue on with head coach Dave Tippett, who doesn't seem to be able to get anything out of the lineup he does have?
It is a bit worrisome that the 'Yotes roll in riding a streak of their own: 7 straight losses. And as we all know, streaks have to end at some point, so the Canucks need to approach this game with the same mindset as they did against Colorado Monday night and take the game to this team. No one likes losing, and I am sure that Arizona looks at the Canucks and see a very winnable game, so I won't be surprised to see them come out like gangbusters tonight.
The Coyotes will be without D Anthony DeAngelo, who was suspended for 3 games by the NHL for abuse of an official. Yeah, this is a frustrated team right now, and that makes them dangerous, and not just because they might win. They're also without Max Domi, who is out for a while after surgery on his hand, and are still without Brad Richardson who suffered that horribly broken leg in a game against the Canucks earlier this season.
How long has it been since the Canucks won 5 in a row? It hasn't happened under Willie Desjardins, but they did win 7 straight with John Tortorella at the helm. While common sense tells us the smart thing for the Canucks is to continue alternating Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom, Miller seems to have the Coyotes number, so it will not be a shock to see him start his 2nd straight tonight. Alexandre Burrows should return to the lineup after an eye injury that kept him out last time. With Burrows back, that likely means we see Anton Rodin back in the press box tonight.
WJC SEMI FINALS: TEAM CANADA vs SWEDEN
It was a bit of a rocky start against the Czechs, but they got it rolling and ended up with a 5-3 win on Monday night. They face a tougher test tonight if they hope to repeat their gold medal win at home from 2 years ago as they take on the high scoring Swedish team. While Sweden cruised to an 8-3 win over Slovakia, they did allow 3 straight, almost letting the Slovakians into the game again before putting it out of reach.
The Swedes played in Group A, which didn't have Canada, Russia or the USA. It's safe to say this is going to be the toughest test yet for Tre Kronar. The biggest question will be who starts in goal for Canada: Connor Ingram or Carter Hart. Both have played well but neither's been lights out for the Canadians. In the other semifinal, the USA goes head to head with Russia at noon that should be a hell of a game as both teams look for a chance to win gold on Canadian ice.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Super stoked for tomorrow night? Why? Because Laurie got us tickets to go see Henry Rollins tomorrow night? Here's Rollins Band, a Black Flag classic, and his spoken word set from Wacken Open Air 2016.