November 17 2013 11:37AM
I'm a fan of Benn's moustache, Dallas' new unis, and what they're doing over there in Big D.
After having the busiest schedule in the NHL through the first 5-6 weeks of the season, I'm sure that the Canucks have appreciated the fact that they've been able to be at home for a few days off this past week. When they hit the ice to face the Dallas Stars, they'll be doing so for just the 2nd time in 6 days.
The Canucks have had just one win in their last 5 - though they played well enough to win each of those save for the debacle in LA - and now face an interesting stretch in the schedule, with their next 5 games being played at Rogers Arena against a wide range of opponents. Two out of those 5 should in theory be winnable games (Florida, Columbus), they'll be in tough for two (Chicago, Los Angeles), and one will quite frankly be a toss-up (Dallas).
The Stars come into Vancouver riding a high having won 5 of their last 6 games, with their most recent performance featuring a 4-goal game from Tyler Seguin, and a 6-point night from Jamie Benn. They've been playing some good hockey lately, but still, these two teams are pretty much as even as it gets by the numbers.
Read on past the jump for a preview of a game that could go either way.
Puck Drop: 5:00 PM PDT
TV: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific
In case you live under a rock - or just had a real busy Saturday that stopped you from keeping up with the news - I've included the new-look line combinations the Canucks are expected to be using on Sunday night. I wrote about my thoughts on it all in some detail yesterday, so I won't really repeat myself. Let's give it some time before jumping to conclusions.
[Image via Daily Faceoff]
On the other end, here's what Dallas' lineup will look like:
I'm very excited to see the the Dallas Stars up close for a few reasons:
a) That top line is something else. The Stars spent the first part of the season trying to find a good fit next to Seguin and Benn, with guys like Erik Cole and RIch Peverley being given chance after chance. They were doing fine, but then the Stars finally came to their senses and bumped their 2013 1st rounder Valeri Nichushkin up to the top line.. it's safe to say that the trio has taken off since then.
As I mentioned above, Seguin - who apparently wasn't good enough to play in Boston - scored 4 goals in their most recent game and now has 22 points in 19 games. His running mate Benn had a 6 point game himself, and is having a fine season. I'm excited to see them in action, and I will probably never forgive Mike Gillis for passing on Nichushkin to take Bo Horvat. Never, ever, ever. From what I've seen of him he's a freight train out there, and a special talent (check out this move he makes before unfortunately bowling into Craig Anderson. My goodness..
b) Brenden Dillon is a personal favourite of mine. You should be aware of the Surrey native's amazing story by now. He's a legitimate top line shutdown defenseman, which is remarkable given his age and how far he has come in the past few years.
c) If Kari Lehtonen goes with this strategy tonight, the Canucks should be able to break out of their recent goal scoring funk.
I'm actually going to this game and knowing the wifi situation at Rogers Arena, I probably won't be tweeting too much throughout as a result. But I encourage following the Canucks Army feed, which will most certainly be snark-filled with Cam Charron handling tonight's game.
THE NUMBERS GAME
|Corsi Close %||52.5% (10th)||52.9% (8th)|
|5v5 GF/60||2.65 (8th)||2.39 (11th)|
|5v5 GA/60||2.25 (18th)||2.15 (17th)|
|PDO||101.1 (12th)||99.6 (16th)|
|5v4 GF/60||3.95 (27th)||3.54 (28th)|
|5v4 SF/60||54.2 (16th)||63.7 (2nd)|
|4v5 GA/60||7.21 (22nd)||3.20 (1st)|
|4v5 SA/60||69.5 (29th)||44.3 (3rd)|
Be sure to sign up with the Canucks Army promo code "CANUCKSARMY" to receive $25 worth of free bets.