Battle for First: Canucks @ Avs

Yankee Canuck
November 04 2010 06:33PM

Vancouver Canucks @ Colorado Avalanche

6:00 PM PST

Avalanche   Canucks
6 Wins 6
4 Losses 3
1 OTL 2
3.46 (T-1st) Goals/Game 2.82 (15th)
3.54 (29th) Goals Against/Game 2.27 (T-3rd)
20.4% (9th) PP 23.5% (5th)
73.9% (28th) PK 85.7% (11th)

What To Watch For

> The full 60: The Canucks played a strong game against Edmonton but took the foot off the gas half way through and let the Oil crawl back into it. They can't play that game and certainly can't against Detroit on Saturday. Vigneault has to get better at keeping the boot on the throat with the lead, especially with the Avs scoring at such a torrid clip.

> Execution: Pop quiz: guess who leads the Canucks in shots? That would be Ryan Kesler AND Mason Raymond; the second liners are tied with 34 each. Samuelsson is third at 32. Yet they only have a combined 18 points, far behind the Sedin line and barely ahead of the Malhotra line. If the Kesler line begins cashing in on their chances, Vancouver could start steamrolling opponents.

> Ginger Support: Cory Schneider is undefeated this season, but the Avs represent his first true test. Hamhuis remains sidelined but the defense has held steady with continued strong play from Edler, Alberts and now Bieksa who finally grabbed his points of the season against Edmonton. Feels pretty good to trust the battle for tops in the division, along with the four game winning streak, over to such a capable back-up, doesn't it?

The Yank has been blogging about Vancouver since 2005 and is a founding manager of the Nucks Misconduct community. Occasionally he pops up on Frequently there is whiskey in his hand. Feel free to yell at him over email or Twitter.
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