Home, Sweet Home
The Vancouver Canucks are back at home to start a four game home stand against the Nashville Predators. The Canucks are fresh off of a win in a shootout against the Columbus Bluejackets that snapped the teams four game losing streak and helped salvage the teams three game road trip.
The Predators on the other hand are also coming off a win over the Dallas Stars have also struggled as of late, they’re 4-5-1 in their last ten games and are currently sitting in 10th place in the conference.
Looks like Bieksa back in for #Canucks. Team skating with burgundy Millionaires gloves
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) March 14, 2013
Also it appears as if the Canucks are going to go with the same forward group they had in Columbus on Tuesday night.
#Canucks Same forward lines as in Columbus: Sedins-Burrows; Booth-Higgins-Kassian; Raymond-Ebbett-Hansen; Sestito-Lapierre-Weise.
— Jim Jamieson (@JamiesonCanucks) March 14, 2013
The Canucks have taken the ball, now it’s time to run with it
If you had asked me if at the start of the season if we would be making a big deal about a win against the Bluejackets I would have laughed at you and said no.
However, it’s almost the middle of March, the half way point of this shortened season and here we are, making a big deal about a win over the Bluejackets.
The Canucks haven’t looked good lately and you can attribute that to a number of things whether it’s the absence of Kevin Bieksa on the back end or Ryan Kesler in the middle on the first unit power play and killing penalties, the Canucks have been a shell of the team that is the two-time President’s Trophy winners.
A big win, and I hate using the term big win when talking about them beating Columbus, but a big win gives the Canucks the ball and lets them run with it on this four game home stand the Canucks are about to get into.
It all start tonight with a solid game against the Predators.
What the Canucks need to do to win:
Breathe life into the power play
The Predators penalty kill is 24th in the league, which for a team as defense minded as Nashville is strange, but it’s something the Canucks need to exploit. The Canucks power play, for lack of a better word has been dog shit awful, in fact, my friend Joel who I’ve never seen hold a hockey stick could probably score a power play goal somewhere in the league.
Either way, if the Canucks want to win this game and not have it become a battle of the defenses, then they need to breathe life into their power play and exploit the Predators weak power play.
Where is Alex Burrows? Could we get him to score?
Alex Burros is a guy I generally don’t like to rip on because it’s not just goal scoring that he brings to the team. His work ethic and ability to play a complete game in all zones is what has gotten him where he is in his career.
Now, having said that, I think that even while he’s played well without scoring it’s about time he starts burying his chances. While you can say that for a lot of people on this team, Burrows sticks out to me because of who he is playing with.
Burrows has zero goals in his last nine games and no points in his last three.
Not the Alex Burrows we’re used to seeing over the past few seasons, but if anyone is due for a break out game it’s him.
Score, Score and Score
Nashville is third in the league for the least amount of goals against with 2.15 GA/per game, if the Canucks are going to win they’re going to need to get on Nashville early and fire everything they can from everywhere at goalie Pekka Rinne.
The Canucks currently score 2.6 GF/per game but will need to get more than a few to make sure they stay on top of the Predators.
Make no mistake about it, these two teams are known for putting teams to sleep and winning games by one goal, so why not get the jump on a team that has struggled in their last ten games and not let them back into it?
The Canucks, if they can wake up their power play up against a penalty kill that is struggling, have Alex Burrows bump the slump and have a break out game and score early and often on Rinne, they stand a good chance of taking two points away from the Preds.