canucks

Game 68 Jets vs. Canucks: Vancouver Must End Tailspin Now

“M’aider, m’aider…”

The Winnipeg Jets have not been victorious against the Vancouver Canucks since October 28th, 1995.

That’s 6218 days or 17 years & 9 days. That’s over 537 million seconds, 8.9 million minutes or 150,000 hours.

andrew ladd winnipeg jets

Captain Ladd of Maple Ridge, BC

Now that’s really not saying much because since then, the Canucks have beaten the Jets not once, not twice, but three times. Those three victories all came in the February following that October loss and saw the Canucks tally 14 times.

Let’s be honest, none of that really means diddly-squat heading into Thursday’s matchup between the much improved Canucks and the new-fandangled Winnipeg Jets.

It’s just really fun and makes me feel cool to throw out huge-arse numbers.

To give you one more idea though, of how long it’s been since these two teams faced each other and how things have changed, there are only three players from that 1996 Jets team still in the NHL.

They are Shane Doan (PHX), Nikolai Khabibulin (EDM) and Teemu Selanne (ANA).

None of those players will be at Rogers Arena Thursday but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a great game. In fact, I am expecting this battle of future Western Conference rivals to be all that it’s cracked up to be.

Of course we have to remember this isn’t even the same franchise, but if you want to look at it the Atlanta Thrashers way; well the Canucks are on a two game win streak against them. (via @patersonjeff)

What are the keys and story-lines going into Thursday night?

Homecomings

First there are the former Canucks; Tanner Glass and Kyle Wellwood. Both were fan favourites in Vancouver when they weren’t sucking and overall, it was most certainly a good thing they left Vancouver. Insert Welly and The Shattered One into today’s Canucks lineup; well you just can’t. You wouldn’t.

Next are the hometown guys; Captain Andrew Ladd and former Vancouver Giant Evander Kane. Laddy has a history with the Canucks having been a part of the Chicago team that took out the Canucks the first two times. Canucks fans shouldn’t like him; he was a pain in the Canucks’ ass.

Of course Evander Kane knocked out another former Canucks Matt Cooke, so that’s great but he’s a legend Giants-wise in this city. His family will be in attendance so he could have a big game, as he is the Jets’ leading scorer.

Finally, there is Dustin Byfuglien. I know what you’re saying; Butt-fugly-en is from New York. Alas, he did make himself quite a home here during those two series with the Hawks.

He always seemed to light it up at Rogers Arena/GM Place and I won’t be surprised if he gives a few yaks to Bobby Lu as he’s sitting on the bench. Schneider will be getting the nod in net.

More Desperation

One can say the Canucks are slumping. Sure they aren’t playing like themselves and no matter what I say next, they should on paper beat every team they play these days.

canucks guardian

Maybe the Canucks need this guy's help! Follow him on twitter @Van_Guardian

However, the teams they have been playing haven’t just been teams below them. They have been teams fighting for their playoff lives. These aren’t teams that have given up on the season because they are so far out; these are teams who still have a shot at eternal glory.

Two straight home-ice regulation losses; the first time that’s happened since November 2010 (via @scottrintoul) and the first time the Nucks have lost two straight in regulation this season since November of last year.

Both games were against those bubble teams. The Sabres have a lot that needs to happen for them to make the playoffs; first and foremost is ironically the Canucks beating the Jets Thursday. The Stars may be atop the Pacific Division but they are also just three points out of 8th/9th.

Well the Jets are in a very similar position. While they technically control their own destiny right now in 8th spot, they could easily fall out of it should the Canucks beat them and the Capitals win once.

After all, it’d be bad if they missed the playoffs since I predicted last summer they would make it in.

The Canucks have arrived home and cool too soon. They see themselves at the top of the standings and ease up just a little bit, other teams pounce on those two points because they care more at the moment.

It’s sad, but true and hopefully getting flat-out beat a few times will knock some sense into those craniums of the Canucks.

 The Sedins

It’s been widely recognized the last week or so that our Swedish twins have been playing more like Kazakh twins.

Will they flip that switch against Winnipeg? I doubt it. You’d think they would since on paper, they are far superior to any player on the Jets.

It is in my belief that they will turn the jets on before the regular season ends and will be the guys we know they can be in the playoffs.

Again, will they Thursday? I think not.

BEST BET TO WIN: Winnipeg Jets

Puck Drop is at 7PM on Sportsnet Pacific and TEAM1040 Radio

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