Photo credit:Lindsay A. Mogle / Utica Comets
Previewing Aatu Raty’s first home games in Abbotsford’s weekend doubleheader versus Tucson
1 year ago
The Farm looks to keep the good times rolling, detouring from their road-heavy schedule for a Friday/Saturday superset against the Tucson Roadrunners!
The Abbotsford Canucks will play 11 more home games over the final 27 games of their sophomore season. First, the doubleheader against Tucson, a two-in-three against San Jose next weekend, and a six-game homestand in mid-March before a lone game against Ontario in mid-April to conclude the year.
The Farm has been excellent at home through 21 games this year, picking up 29 points with a record of 13-5-1-2 — a very nice 0.69 points percentage — while outscoring visitors 83-56. Their home record is made more impressive by their dismal penalty killing during that stretch, the third-worst in the Pacific Division at 80.3%.
Mid-January was not friendly to the Farm. After starting the new year 4-1-0-0, Abbotsford faced their busiest stretch of schedule in the season and closed the month with a brutal 1-5-1-1 record. Fortunately, they rebounded from their losing skid with three straight victories against division bottomfeeders San Diego and San Jose. Unfortunately, they return home to rematch the team that handed them their two most demoralizing regulation losses of the losing skid.
Before we get into the series preview, let’s quickly recap how our week 17 predictions fared!
Week 17 predictions review
Both California teams enter their matchups on the heels of significant losing skids over their last ten games. Therefore, we predict the Abbotsford Canucks to prevail with six points out of a possible six.
Though he didn’t end up on the scoresheet in either of Abbotsford’s wins against San Jose, Aatu Raty acquitted himself nicely while being limited to ice time solely at 5v5. We covered Raty’s first and second games in great detail, noting his strong positioning and hockey IQ, but noted the lack of foot speed. While it’s unreasonable to expect any dramatic changes, it will be interesting to see what impact skating coach MacKenzie Braid can have after working with Raty over the past several days.
- We know that these charts are tough to read for some, so we are taking steps to make them as legible as possible for our Canucks Army readers!
5v5 Scoring leaders
5v5 On-ice goal differential
Games 46 and 47 versus Tucson Roadrunners
The Tucson head-to-head data is very not great.
The Roadrunners are the only team to finish consecutive games against the Canucks with a goal differential greater than two goals. In game 41, Tucson dominated the scoreboard 6-3. In game 42, despite the Farm outshooting, Tucson 35-20 at 5v5 wound up losing 5-2. Ex-Canuck Michael Carcone feasted on the Farm team with 1 goal and 5 assists over the two games. Heading into the weekend, Carcone is the AHL’s leading scorer with 62 points in 39 games, with 3 goals and 11 assists over his last 10 games.
Despite the utter destruction that was their series against Tucson, the Canucks sit well above them in the standings. Abbotsford has managed 56 points through 45 games played, while Tucson has managed 46 points through 46 games.
The Roadrunners are a strange team that has managed the eighth-most total goals, tenth-highest shots per game, and ninth-highest goals per game but sit 20th in the league owing to their 14th-worst rate of shots allowed and sixth-worst rate of goals allowed per game. They’re the “all action” team that survives on their ability to outscore their opponents.
Were the back-to-back victories in January a true reflection of how these two squads stack up on true talent? Or did Tucson win the PDO war? Against Arturs Silovs and Jake Kupsky, the Roadrunners shot 18.6% — 11 goals on 59 shots — while the Canucks managed a shooting percentage of just 6.8% — 5 goals on 73 shots.
Though we believe that the Roadrunners’ late-January success against Abbotsford benefited heavily from shooting luck, the Farm heads into the weekend matchup without Vasily Podkolzin, Nils Aman, and Phil Di Giuseppe in the lineup.
Week 18 predictions
Time and time again, the Farm has shown a propensity to win games by leaning on the scoring contributions of its forward depth. However, Tucson utterly dominated Abbotsford on the scoreboard with Podkolzin, Aman, Di Giuseppe and the Canucks’ depth scoring available in their roster. Without three of those key contributors available to their top six, there’s a good chance that this weekend’s matchup winds up with an even more-lopsided scoreboard.
Abbotsford and Tucson return to action after a lengthy break for the AHL All-Star Game. Both games will feature two well-rested teams looking to build momentum down the stretch ahead of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Considering Arturs Silovs’ likelihood to start both Friday and Saturday’s games due to Jake Kupsky’s injury against the San Jose Barracuda, three points this weekend would be highly optimistic. Therefore, we’re predicting a modest two-point weekend for the Farm.
[Sad voice] Meep, meep…
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