Hey Kes. Wanna get another hattrick tonight? Ok. That would be fun.
(Photo by Reuters/Andy Clark)
Game Day Recon #80 – Canucks @ Oilers
The Vancouver Canucks are looking to come back after an understandably disappointing game on Hockey Night in Canada against the Edmonton Oilers. The Canucks look to bounce back and for a little redemption as they head to Edmonton in the second half of their home-and-home series.
Game Time: 6:00 PM PT
The Vancouver Canucks were humbled at home Saturday night by a young team playing for absolutely nothing. And truthfully, Vancouver didn’t show up for much of their last game. Specifically, their defense was completely absent, letting the young Oilers forwards skate circles around them. Call-up Yann Sauve had a particularly bad night, as did the penalty killers. The normally stalwart PK team allowed goals on their first two penalties.
A lot when wrong for the Canucks against the Oilers, and I suppose it’s somewhat understandable. The Canucks had nothing for which to play. They had already secured titles for the Northwest division, the Western Conference and league-wide standings to win the Presidents’ Trophy. And they play the 30th place team who they had beat in all four of their previous meetings.
These last three games for the Canucks should be focused on nothing but tightening the screws. Fix small errors in their game that they feel are cropping up. Work out the final kinks. Consider it like pre-season games, except your playing with your full roster.
It also has to act as a sped-up conditioning stint for the players returning to action. First up is Mikael Samuelsson. who returns from a leg injury. Having Samuelsson back will help broaden the forward roster who need to get in sync quickly in order to provide full depth as the team enters the playoffs. Andrew Alberts and Alex Edler will likely travel and practice with them but won’t play against the Oilers tonight.
The Canucks need to focus on righting the ship after a pretty dreadful effort on the weekend. The defense has to be embarassed by their work against Edmonton, especially against the Cogliano line. Cogliano has 5 assists in 5 games against the Canucks this year. Not bad at all, considering he only has 34 points all year.
The Three Keys
Here are the three keys for the Vancouver Canucks tonight:
1. Get their special teams back on track. Their PK was terrible, only saving 1 of 3 PK opps, and the PP went 0-4. Again, they need to use this time as real-game practice. And get the kinks sorted out.
2. Pay attention to the Cogliano line. They were REALLY good on Saturday, and Cogs has 5 points in 5 games against the Canucks.
3. Go straight to the net. Sure the Canucks peppered Dubnyk with 41 shots on Saturday. But there was a LOT of peripheral play. I get it though. The Canucks don’t want to get hurt. But they have to go to the net at least a FEW times tonight. Get prepped for the playoffs. They have to get into Dubnyk’s kitchen and get used to playing in the paint.
Here are your top 5 links for today’s game:
1. Tale of the Tape: Canucks @ Oilers (Canucks.com)
2. Words of wisdom from Samuelsson: Forget the Presidents’ Trophy (The Province)
3. Canucks lining up for the playoffs (Vancouver Sun)
4. Canucks/Oilers Preview (Yahoo! Sports)
5. GDB 79.0: Going Out In Style (Oilers Nation) << SEE WHAT THE ENEMY HAS TO SAY!