GDB #82: For The Division

Jonathan Willis
April 11 2009 11:39AM

Canucks vs. Avs

With one game remaining in the regular season, a playoff spot locked up, and the Vancouver Canucks opponent being the lowly Colorado Avalanche, you could be forgiven for assuming that this is a meaningless game tonight. Far from it.

A win tonight would clinch the division for the Canucks, as yesterday the Calgary Flames were defeated 5-1 by the Edmonton Oilers. It would givethe Canucks 100 points on the season; their second finish at 100 points or better since the lockout. And the only thing standing in their way is the Colorado Avalanche.

One problem: when the Colorado Avalanche have stood in their way, Vancouver has not generally done very well at all. Some fun numbers:

  • Colorado has won 10 of their last 14 games against Vancouver.
  • Colorado has won 7 of their last 10 home games against Vancouver.

This season the Canucks are 2-1-2 against the Avalanche (the Avalance are 3-2-0). Here are the leading scorers from each side in the season series:

Vancouver

Pavol Demitra: 2G – 3A – 5PTS Daniel Sedin: 2G – 1A – 3PTS Alex Burrows: 1G – 2A – 3PTS Ryan Kesler: 0G – 3A – 3PTS

Colorado

Milan Hejduk: 2G – 4A – 6PTS Paul Stastny: 0G – 4A – 4PTS T.J. Galiardi: 3G – 0A – 3PTS Darcy Tucker: 1G – 2A – 3PTS

T.J Galiardi is a 20-year old rookie with 3 career goals in the nine games he’s played this season. He’s never scored against any NHL team other than Vancouver. Tucker has 20% of his points this season against the Canucks.

I think the Canucks will do it. They’re a better team than Colorado, and the desire to win the Northwest Division should seal the deal.

Prediction:

Canucks 4 (Demitra (2), Burrows, H. Sedin) – Avalanche 3 (Galiardi, Hejduk, Laperriere).

I’d actually predict a 4-2 game, but since this will be Ian Laperriere’s 1000th game, let’s give him credit for a goal.

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
Avatar
#1 Sedinz
April 12 2009, 07:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

1-o the Avs. That isn't what I thought it would have ended up as.

BRING ON THE PLAYOFFS!!!

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