kick em when they’re down: Canucks & Blues

Vancouver Canucks @ St. Louis Blues

 5:00 PM PST

Blues   Canucks
24 Wins 36
21 Losses 11
9 OTL 9
2.63 (22nd) Goals/Game 3.36 (1st)
2.91 (20th) Goals Against/Game 2.29 (1st)
14.6% (26th) PP 25.1% (1st)
80.7% (20th) PK 86% (4th)

Fast Facts

> Testing the depth: The new-look backend was stretched, but didn’t break against the Flames. However you could tell some adjustments were being learned on the ice: Alberts (paired with Bieksa) was abused regularly by Iginla so it’s worth watching how the 6’5” rear guard handles the likes of Backes or Steen, the two top scorers for the Blues. Then again, if the Canucks can turn Halak into Swiss cheese again, it won’t much matter. Samuelsson is scoring all over the place (12 points in his last six games) and Burrows has the longest active point streak in the league (8G, 3A) in nine games. Chuck in the twins and Kesler, and with a 20th ranked Blues team in goals against across the ice, the Canucks should hold a distinct edge on offense.

> Slip sliding: The Blues have struggled most of the year with injuries (only Perron is out now with a concussion) but even health hasn’t helped them recently. They’ve lost three of their last five, including dropping both games of a home-and-home with Minnesota. 10 losses in January helped cement them to the bottom of the Central standings and they enter tonight eight points back of the eighth slot in the West. They’ll need a strong run through April to poke through, but there’s no reason to think they’ll play the battered Canucks lightly. They need the points more, so look for another high-tempo game between squads with a short memory.

> Impress Your Friends With Knowledge!: That stretch you keep hearing about with Luongo going 16-0-5 since early December? His last regulation loss before that streak was 3-2 to the Blues on December 5th.