Minnesota Wild @ Vancouver Canucks
7:00 PM PST
|3.33 (3rd)||Goals/Game||2.14 (26th)|
|2.33 (T-7th)||Goals Against/Game||2.57 (T-12th)|
|44.4% (1st)||PP||25.9% (4th)|
|85.8% (15th)||PK||80.6% (T-21st)|
What To Watch For
> Pretend your mom is watching: There were a truckload of differences between Vancouver’s losses to the Wild and Blackhawks this week, but staying out of the box against the Cup champs could be the most notable. Combined with a more simple approach to their game, Vancouver’s composure didn’t hand the Hawks any chances to run away with the lead. Considering the team’s struggles and their schizophrenic special teams, the Canucks should make it a priority to not overly test the league’s best power play.
> The day-walking Ginger Jesus Returns: Cory Schneider returns to the pipes, fresh off his first NHL win in over a year against Carolina and a solid period of relief against the Wild on Tuesday. It would have been nice to see Luongo get another crack at the Wild and perhaps string together some confidence-building games, but we’ll take Schneider who has looked calm, dependable and ready. And hey, Vancouver has a number of controversies already, why not a goaltending one?
> Someone remind the hockey gods we’re celebrating an anniversary down here: The Canucks need to shake their one-line label quickly. If Vigneault can keep the Kesler line together and generate better scoring chances (all three were in the top ten in SOG through Wednesday night) while allowing the Sedins to feast against the weaker Minny D, that’s a start. Malhotra’s line was good against the Hawks; it’s only a matter of time before Manny and Torres get their bounces. On the backend – depending on if Hamhuis returns or not – Bieksa and Edler should be the number one pairing and both are looking for their first of the year as well.