Home, Sweet, Home
The Vancouver Canucks are back at home for a quick two game home stand, which sees them play host tonight to the Colorado Avalanche tonight and the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.
Here then are my Canucks gameday tips for how to put a W in the win column tonight.
Glass Half Full
The California road trip that saw the Canucks play three games in four nights probably didn’t go as well as they had planned. The only real success story for the team was a 5-0 win against the Anaheim Ducks.
The power play came to life, Mason Raymond had a couple of goals and Cory Schneider recovered from the shelling he took from the same Ducks on opening night at Rogers Arena.
The Sharks tore the Canucks a part. Mistakes cost the team big early on in the game, and there was simply no puck luck to be had with post and after post being hit.
The Canucks did start the next game against the Los Angeles Kings the right way, Zack Kassian who leads the team in goals (4) continued to impress and Roberto Luongo stood on his head. However, they weren’t able to hold on to a two-goal lead and ended up losing in the shootout.
Getting three out of a possible six points isn’t that bad, so while two out of three losses isn’t that good, I’m going to give the first road trip of the season a glass half full.
What the Canucks need to do to win:
Get the crowd into the game early.
Too often do you hear about how quiet Rogers Arena can get. The Canucks would do well to get the crowd going with some big hits and scoring goals early and often.
Memo from Mitch to AV! Get the special teams running, win the defensive battles and score early and often.
The Canucks have been outscored 12-8 at home this season, so getting on the Avalanche early will help.
The Canucks power play HAS to wake up tonight.
They’ve gone 0 for 10 since scoring three against the Ducks in Anaheim last Friday. If the Canucks can capitalize on some early (or any) power play chances, it certainly gives them a leg up.
Pouncing on a weak Avalanche PK will help. Colorado is one of the penalized teams in the league and so far their penalty kill hasn’t been great.
The same goes for the Canucks penalty kill. It has to be better. Stay disciplined and stay out of the box.
It’s easier said than done, but if the Canucks can win the special teams battle they’ve got a great chance in this one.
Finding a Rhythm
So far the defense has been a little chaotic. Jason Garrison hasn’t been able to hit the net, Alex Edler has struggled periodically with giveaways and Kevin Bieksa…well, lets not get into that right now.
Lets just hope tonight that the Canucks D is able to get into a rhythm early and able to make some big plays, be physical and help out on the score sheet.
So, in some ways it’s much of the same old.
Get the special teams running, win the defensive battles and score early and often.
If the Canucks stick by that – coupled with some solid goaltending from what appears to be Roberto Luongo at the moment; the Canucks are in good shape to start this home stand off the right way.
Please comment below on what you think the Nucks need to do tonight to grab a W vs. the Avs.
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