Sunday, December 20, 2009

GAME DAY: Canucks vs. Blues

Game 6 of the 8 game home stand (and their 7th in 13 nights) stands to be an interesting one. So many possible ways this one could go. The Blues are struggling, a bit of a shock actually to see them near the basement in the West after the significant strides they made last season. That could see one of the following scenarios:
a)- The Canucks continue their strong home play, taking it to the Blues and getting a little revenge for a lopsided beating that St. Louis gave them in their last meeting.
b)- The Canucks look past the Blues to a match against the red hot Nashville Predators on Tuesday, and end up giving away an easy 2 points like they have so often to the Blues in years past.
c)- The scenario they said would never happen, the two teams battle hard and go to overtime, the Canucks lose, yet get a standing ovation from the GM Place faithful.

Snarky yes, but they already gave Kyle Wellwood a S.O. for scoring a goal, anything is possible this season and getting their first loser point of the season would probably get their butts outta the seats.

The Canucks will have that 6-1 embarrassment back on Nov. 10th fresh in their minds when they take on the Blues tonight, and it's a safe bet they won't be giving David Perron the kind of room he had that night, when he notched a hat trick. Since then, Perron has gone goalless in 16 of the 17 games the Blues have played, yet remains their leading scorer with 9 markers. The Blues are an offensively gifted team, yet sit last in goals scored with 78. I know what you're thinking; breakout game, right? Well this blogger hopes that this time the bottom dweller has their breakout against someone else.

One of the best parts about Friday night's victory over the Capitals was the team's defensive play. Willie Mitchell had one of his strongest performances of the season, limiting Alex Ovechkin to just 2 shots and the Caps to 27 total. Mitchell and his D counterparts will need to step up the way they did in the playoffs last year against the Blues and show them they do not have a chance of winning this one, and setting the tone with an early goal will help. Henrik Sedin continues his strong play, sitting in 3rd place in league scoring as he rides a 9 game point streak. Mason Raymond was stellar Friday night, notching 2 more goals to increase his career best totals as he moved past Alex Burrows into 3rd place in team scoring. The Canucks will need to be firing on all cylinders, as St. Louis is one of the best teams in the West when it comes to playing on the road at 8-3-3. Normally, with the Canucks PK being as bad as it's been this year (though it was incredible against the Caps and is getting better) I would caution against giving the Blues PP opportunites, but with St. Louis clicking along at 14% with the man advantage, this might not be an issue. Last meeting was also a nasty one, a number of fights and over 100 minutes in penalties, so expect the Canucks not to allow St. Louis to physically dominate them like they did in November. Roberto Luongo will get the start for the Canucks, while Chris Mason should get the nod for the Blues. Game time is at 7pm on Sportsnet Pacific and The Team 1040.

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