Time to put one up in the win column
The Canucks are back in Columbus tonight for the second time in three games, taking on the Bluejackets for the second time in three games. The Canucks haven’t won in four straight games (0-2-2), meanwhile the Bluejackets are red hot having won five straight games that include back-to-back wins against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Canucks head home after tonight where they hope to carry a win on to home ice for the next four games.
Roberto Luongo will get the start in goal for Vancouver. Kevin Bieksa will miss his fifth straight game with a groin injury and Andrew Ebbett, recalled from the Chicago Wolves will be centering a line that includes Jannik Hansen and Mason Raymond.
What the Canucks need to do to win:
Enough with the poor starts
I can’t tell you how man times the Canucks have either put themselves down a man or a goal in the first two minutes of the game in the last six or so games, but the fact that it has been more than once is what’s really alarming. The Canucks need to come out with a strong start.
They’re facing a Bluejackets team that is red hot and looking to extend their five game winning streak to six. The Canucks were badly outworked by the Minnesota Wild on Sunday and spotted them a 3-0 lead.
In order for them to have any sort of chance at winning tonight they need to play hard and smart, get the first goal of the game and avoid staying out of the penalty box or allowing a goal early to start things off.
This goes hand-in-hand with nixing the poor starts they’ve been having. The Canucks have shown little to no intensity on this road trip and if they hope to manage at least one win in these three games they will need to come out with an intensity equal to or greater than the Bluejackets’. Big hits, lots of shots and smart play are easy ways to keep the intensity up during the early part of this game.
The Canucks are hoping that the injection of Andrew Ebbett will help the team and their scoring woes. Also, look for Cam Barker to slot in on the power play if he’s in tonight.
At this point desperation isn’t just in the air when the Canucks are on the power play, it’s covering them like a cheap cologne.
Playing a full 60 minutes
I know it’s a cliche thing to say, but the Canucks are in desperate need of a full 60 minute game tonight. When your general manager says he thinks the team played their first full game of the season at the 19 game mark, then something is wrong.
This also ties in with my first two points: Scrap the slow start to the game, match the intensity of the opposition and some and play a full game tonight. Don’t sit back on a lead, keep pressing forward.
The Canucks haven’t held a lead in a game since they played the Calgary Flames nine days ago. They were up 2-1 and ended up losing 4-2.
There you have it folks. Those are my very obvious and some what pointed gameday tips for the Canucks to win.
Hope you enjoy the game.