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Gameday skate: Canucks host Blues as teams begin playoff push

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After backing in to the Olympic break the Vancouver Canucks must begin to turn their season around tonight against the St. Louis Blues.

The Canucks are only one point behind the final playoff spot in the Western Conference but will be in for a brutal battle to end the year with only two points separating the Stars, Coyotes, Canucks, and Jets.

Below are five keys to tonight’s season restart tonight at Rogers Arena.

Fresh Start

The Vancouver Canucks were a complete mess heading into the Olympic break and will need to look at Sochi as a turning point in their season if the team is to rally together to earn one of the final playoff spots in the West. The Canucks dropped seven-straight before the Olympic break and will need to find their game quickly against a Blues team that was cruising before Sochi.

Daniel Sedin needs to get his game going after putting up points in Sochi.

Daniel Sedin needs to get his game going after putting up points in Sochi.

The Blues have won seven of their last ten games heading into tonight’s clash with the Canucks.

Daniel’s Drought

Daniel Sedin had no problems putting up points in Sochi, however his NHL drought could hit double digits without a point tonight at Rogers Arena.

Daniel had one goal and four assists during five games with Team Sweden and will need to keep the pace going as the Canucks search for scoring that had completely disappeared before the break.

Black and Blue

While the Olympic break came at the perfect time for the battered and bruised Canucks, a number of skaters remain questionable for tonight’s return to action at Rogers Arena.

Ryan Kesler is expected to miss tonight’s game after blocking a shot with his hand during the Olympics, while Kevin Bieksa (bruised foot) and Henrik Sedin (ribs) are game time decisions. Chris Tanev remains out of the lineup with a broken thumb.

American Muscle

The Blues will need a solid performance from their Olympic participants tonight if they are to earn their first victory over the Canucks this season.

T.J. Oshie and David Backes combined for four goals and eight points during six games played in Sochi, however after a disappointing exit at the hands of Team Canada both Inglorious Backes and T.J. Sochi will be desperate to get back to work for their NHL club tonight against the Canucks.

Lack Leads

Eddie Lack is expected to start tonight’s matchup with the Blues, giving Roberto Luongo an extended rest after making the trip to Sochi. Lack has started in both games against the Blues this season, earning a pair of wins while stopping 52 of 55 shots faced.

Look for The Stork to remain on top tonight as Canucks begin their push for the eighth and final playoff spot.

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About Kevin Vanstone

Born in Vancouver, and a student at UVIC. "The Flying V" follows all things Canucks hockey and covers the best in CIS athletics around the Pacific Northwest. He loves to write about the athletes that used to show him up in his playing days.
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