Game #41 Preview: Canucks @ Avalanche

Thomas Drance
April 13 2013 10:48AM


Photo Credit: Rich Lam/Getty Images

Among the four Northwest Division also rans, the Avalanche were my preseason pick to overachieve expectations. Instead they've put in a thoroughly miserable season culminating in the team getting called out vociferously by veteran netminder J.S. GIguere. 

The Avalanche are in full on "not winning for MacKinnon" mode at this point and probably won't pose much of a stiff test for the Canucks, who haven't lost to the Avalanche since January of 2011 (and that was in OT). Going back three seasons the Canucks have put up a hilarious 14-0-1 record against Colorado's club and will look to win a fifteenth against their divisional rival this afternoon in Denver. Frankly I'd expect to see the Avalanche show some pride and give the Canucks a game on Saturday afternoon, with Cory Schneider being up to the task and the Canucks winning anyway as is their usual wont...

Read on past the jump.

Broadcast Info:

Puck Drop: 12 PM PST

Radio: The Team

Television: Sportsnet Pacific

Setup

Let's keep it short because the games in a couple of hours and fewer of you will read this than usual anyway.

Alain Vigneault blendered up his lines at practice yesterday and it looks like Jannik Hansen will skate with the Sedin twins, while Alex Burrows bumps down to the second line to play with Ryan Kesler and Zack Kassian. I have to say, I love the sandpaper on that second line and it does make some sense to me to give Jannik Hansen some time to adjust to playing with the twins before the playoffs: Burrows does make the twins better, but their line with Hansen has also been dynamite in the past. Derek Roy, Mason Raymond and Dale Weise will play on an ostentatiously quick third line with Tom Sestito and Andrew Ebbett flanking Maxim Lapierre on the fourth.

Other than Chris Tanev there are not injuries along Vancouver backend, so expect the usual d-pairings: Hamhuis with Garrison, Edler with Bieksa, and Ballard and Alberts. Meanwhile Cory Schneider has recovered from the flu that kept him out of Thursday night's game in Calgary, and will get the start in this one.

Numbers Game

Category Avalanche Canucks
Record 13.22.6 23.11.6
Goal Differential -32 13
PP% 14.2% 13.8%
PK% 80.5% 83.2%
Fenwick Tied % 44.58% 53.2%
Corsi% 48.7% 52.4%
PDO 98.4 101.6

Game Day Links

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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