RICK RYPIEN! SUSPENSION! SIX GAMES!
There, I got that out of the way. Ok, now on to today’s game.
The Vancouver Canucks host the rematch of their debacle from Wednesday night. Vancouver is no doubt looking for scoreboard revenge, after being humiliated three night ago and putting up a pretty poor performance.
Canucks/Wild games tend to have a little extra fire, but tonight is likely to be even more fiery than usual.
TV: RSN; Radio: Team 1040
The Canucks have been snakebitten against the Western Conference to start the year, going 0-3-2 in 5 games. Meanwhile, their dominance aginst the East continues as they’re 2-0-0 so far. Why does that matter? The Wild play in the West (like you didn’t know that!). So tonight would be an excellent night for the Canucks to break their goose egg against the West.
Making his debut for the Wild tonight in net is Jose Theodore, signed as a result of a season-ending injury to Josh Harding. Theodore has historically played quite well against the Canucks, but he may be rusty. The decision to
Here’s what the Canucks have going in their favour. First, the Wild played last night in Edmonton. The Canucks had a great record last year playing teams on the second half of back-to-back games.
Second, Cory Schneider is in net. Before you get all bothered and say "So you think Schneider is better than Lu this year?!" – NO, I don’t think that. And Luongo, Tuesday’s game and shootout results aside, has been great to start this year. But Schneider is still out to prove himself. He had a stellar game against Carolina last Sunday, and will hopefully provide a similar performance against Minnesota.
Next, the Canucks were embarrassed when they lost to the Wild. If they lost a close 3-2 game, the Canucks likely wouldn’t have the same fire in their belly. But when you’re embarrassed as badly as they were, the automatic reaction is to come out firing and seek redemption.
Finally, Daniel Sedin is on pace for 82 goals this year. No, really. Daniel already has 7 goals in 7 games. That’s the good news. But really, the underlying story here is that the Sedins are really the only forwards producing with any consistency so far. While it’s great for them, it’s bad news for the rest of the offense. Maybe facing a nervous goalie playing behind a tired team is exactly the tonic that the Canucks forwards need.
The Three Keys
Here are the three keys for the Canucks tonight:
1. OMFG! Stop the goddamn Wild PP! The Canucks, with the exception of Rypien’s nonsense, were actually well disciplined on Tuesday against the Wild. They only gave the Wild three extra-strength chances. What did the Wild do? They scored on all three! So the penalty killers and Schneider need to shut the door. Without an effective power play, the Wild can be defused.
2. Get a TWO goal lead. They started the game against the Wild as well as they could have asked. Within in the first minute, the Sedins strike again. Then they whole team just sagged. So if the Canucks can start strong and put the pressure on Jose Theodore, they should be able to take an early lead. But they need to keep the pedal down and go for the jugular.
3. Keep skating, draw penalties. Whats the best way to avoid taking penalties? Well, how about drawing the other team into taking their own penalties. The Canucks need to keep the offense up, the speed up and the pressure up. All those factors, especially given the fact that they are facing a tired team, should help draw penalties. More PP means (hopefully) more goals for.
1. Tale of the Tape – Wild @ Canucks (canucks.com)
2. Wild-Vancouver Game Preview (startribune.com)
3. Canucks out for revenge vs.Wild (cbcsports.ca)
4. Wild-Canucks Preview (AP on foxsports.com)
5. Wild @ Canucks Game Preview: Some Kind Of Monster (nucksmisconduct.com)