My Kind Of Town
The Vancouver Canucks will be looking to bounce back against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight after being soundly beaten last night in Big D. While the loss to the Stars was a disappointing one a new challenge against an old rival is the best way for the team to back on track on the road.
Below are the five keys to tonight’s contest between the Canucks and Blackhawks.
No Rest For The Wicked
No team looks forward to back-to-back games, however after a poor performance last night in Dallas the Canucks have a unique opportunity to quickly turn the page with a solid effort against one of the NHL’s top teams.
The Blackhawks have always brought out the best in the Canucks, and while the teams also tend to bring out the worst in each other I expect tonight’s contest to be an intense clash of conference rivals.
Patrick Kane has become one of the most dangerous Canuck-killers in recent years, and entering tonight’s game on a ten-game point streak the talented forward is poised to torment his rivals once again. Kane has 5 goals and 13 assists over his last 10 games and has tallied a point in 22 of his last 23 contests.
Look for Kane to keep Vancouver’s defence busy again tonight in Chicago.
With Corey Crawford out due to injury backup Antti Raanta will get the start tonight for the Blackhawks. Raanta is 7-1-1 so far this season carrying a .920 save percentage and 2.26 goals-against average into tonight’s game.
After replacing Roberto Luongo in the crease last night in Dallas speculation has circulated that backup Eddie Lack will get the start tonight for the Canucks.
PK Put To The Test
As Jeff Paterson pointed out today over Twitter tonight’s contest could revolve around a battle between two of the league’s most effective special teams units.
The Canucks’ top-ranked penalty kill will face off against the Blackhawks’ dangerous power play unit that has tallied a power play goal in 10-straight games, operating at 34% during that stretch.
While Vancouver’s penalty kill has been proficient all season long it would be best for the Canucks to stay disciplined tonight against their rivals.
While the Madhouse on Madison was once the equivalent of Canucks kryptonite the team has quietly strung together five-straight games without a regulation loss in Chicago.
While it’s comforting to know the Canucks have found a way to consistently come home with at least a point against their conference rivals tonight the visitors need to push to close out the game in regulation.
The Canucks are 1-4 in the shootout this season and likely don’t stand a chance against the talented array of shooters Chicago could call upon if the game goes the distance.