The Vancouver Canucks return home after a very unsuccessful trip to southern California. The Canucks lost both games to LA and Anaheim, and look to get back to their winning ways against the Eastern Conference, as they host the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at 6pm.
TV: RSN; RADIO: TEAM 1040
The Hurricanes started the season with two wins, then traveled to Ottawa and lost to the Senators. They’ve now traveled clear across the country to take on the Canucks in their only meeting this year. They have a very effective power play (ranked #8), ranking right behind the Canucks (#7). But their PK has been brutal, ranking them third from last, at only 71.4%.
The Hurricanes do boast a very balanced scoring threat, with 14 different players already registering a point, despite only playing 3 games thus far. Rookie Jeff Skinner appears to be a superstar in the making already, and will probably give highly touted rookies like Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi and others a real run for the Calder trophy this year.
Despite the two losses, the Canucks penalty killing has looked great and been highly effective, as has their Power Play. Their 5-on-5 play has been good but impotent, barely registering a point. Last year, the Canucks prided themselves on their even strength power, but have yet to really find the back of the net when 5-on-5.
THE 3 KEYS
After watching their first three games, the Canucks have three main areas where they need improvement.
Here are your Three Keys for the Canucks tonight:
1. Score early. The Canucks will serve themselves by getting a lead. They’ve played from behind in most of their 4 games so far this season, and are having a tough time finding the net. If they can start playing with a lead, it should inspire to keep the pedal pressed to the floor, especially against an Eastern opponent, against whom the Canucks always fair well.
2. Get people away from Luongo. The Kings and Ducks both took liberties with Luongo’s personal space. The Canucks D needs to be better about keeping that garbage away from their goalie and allow him to make saves.
3. Play a full 60 minutes. Another 3rd period collapse and the Canucks found a way to lose against the Kings. The Canucks have to play full-out until the final buzzer to get a win.
Here are your Top 5 links for today’s game:
1. Tale of the Tape (canucks.com)
2. Rome excited to get first start (theprovince.com)
3. Players go to the wall for Paul (Maurice) (theprovince.com)
4. NHL Preview – Hurricanes @ Canucks (cbcsports.ca)
5. AV runs out of patience with goal-drived lineup (theprovince.com)