January 14 2011 02:20PM
Photograph by: Jenelle Schneider, Vancouver Sun
Game Day Recon #44 - Canucks @ Capitals
The Vancouver Canucks LOST. In regulation! WHAT?! Ok, it was bound to happen. So now it's time to start a new winning streak. This time, they have to start it against one of the best teams in the league, as they hit the U.S. capital to take on Ovie and the boys.
Game Time: 4:00 PM PT
Roberto Luongo has a remarkably good record against Alexander Ovechkin. Dating back to his days with the Panthers, Lu is 10-1lifetime aginst Ovie, and has held him mostly goalless in those games.
But the Capitals are doing things differently these days. They're winning with defense. Yeah, it sounds weird, doesn't it? But it's working, as they're 6-1-3 in their last 10 and have only lost 4 times at home in regulation.
The danger area for the Capitals is their 5-on-5 play, where they sit 16th in goals for and 12th in goals against. For a team that is 5th in the East, those are some fairly disappointing numbers.
Further to that, the Caps are 29th in goals-for in the first period. This plays very nicely into the hands of the Canucks who lead the league in 1st-period goals-for. That said, the Caps are first in the leading in winning percentage when trailing after the first period, at 10-9-2, and are 12-12-4 when trailing first. So the Caps know who to win from behind. The Canucks had better be weary of this.
The Three Keys
Here are the three keys for the Vancouver Canucks tonight:
1. Forecheck. They totally lacked a decent forecheck yesterday and they came up goalless for only the second time this year. Get in there!
2. Forget that you lost. They haven't lost in regulation in 17 games before their setback against the Rangers. If they let it get in their heads, they'll start a free fall.
3. Abuse the young goalies like choir boys. They're inexperienced but they hold their own. Hard to tell if they are flappable or not, but the Canucks need to try to get in the Caps' crease and set up shop. Forecheck and go STRAIGHT to the net.
Here are your top 5 links for today's game:
1. Tale of the Tape: Canucks @ Capitals (canucks.com)
2. Luongo has owned Ovechkin (The Province)
3. Alzner gaining full grip on job with Caps (The Province)
4. Time for several Canucks to bump the slump (Vancouver Sun)
5. Canucks look familiar (Washington Post)