May 03 2011 06:37PM
Vancouver Canucks @ Nashville Predators
6:00 PM PST
|3.00 (T-7th)||Goals/Game||2.00 (T-14th)|
|2.75 (9th)||Goals Against/Game||2.67 (8th)|
|16.7% (T-9th)||PP||16.7% (T-9th)|
|71.4% (15th)||PK||84.2% (6th)|
> "Traffic, Traffic, Traffic": That's a quote from Captain Hank Sedin when asked how the Canucks - and perhaps more importantly his line - can beat Rinne more than once per game. Vigneault is either panicking or shuffling the deck, but chances are there will be some new combinations for the kitties to deal with: Burrows back up front, Kesler reunites with Higgins and Raymond, Lapierre will slot between Hansen and Torres and the struggling Samuelsson will skate with Hodgson and Torres on the fourth. Samuelsson has also been removed from the top PP with Edler lining up with Bieksa in practice. That fourth line probably won't stay long, but regardless, if no one gets traffic and better chances on Rinne (think blocker over glove here folks), none of this will matter. Luongo returns to the pipes and, while most of the applause has been for Rinne, he maintains a higher SV% (.970% to .958%).
> "Shoot, Shoot, Shoot": OK, no one in Nashville said that, but their top guns (Erat, Kostitsyn, Hornqvist and Legwand) have been just as disappointing so far as the top six on the other end. The Preds are just as much a sleeping dragon offensively as Vancouver; they showed as much in the first round against the Ducks. If either team can open up a two or three goal lead, any chance of a comeback is almost statistically absurd at the rate these goalies and defensive pairings are playing. As the series goes on, the thin margin for error on both sides will continue to narrow, but with home ice advantage and the crowd behind them, the Canucks will need to steal the momentum back if they don't want to return home in a massive hole. Lastly, Hamhuis should expect some southern "hospitality" on every shift.
> Impress Your Friends With Knowledge!: With the OT loss on Saturday, Vancouver's record in playoff multiple OT Games is now 6-3; Nashville is 1-1.