Previewing the Abbotsford Canucks’ midweek matchup against the Colorado Eagles
1 month ago
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To the surprise of no one, the Abbotsford Canucks got Dustin Wolf’d pretty hard in their home opener this past weekend. For the sixth and seventh straight time, a game between the Canucks and Wranglers was decided by a single goal. Five of these past seven games (three regular season games and four Calder Cup Playoff games) featured Dustin Wolf posting a save percentage above 0.920. He’s good, folks! You heard it here first!
That Abbotsford came back from being down 6-3 with just 8 minutes left in the third period against a goaltender of Wolf’s calibre is nothing short of amazing. Sure, the two points would have been nice. But a 13-goal game featuring a Nils Äman hat-trick, 3 points from Arshdeep Bains, and 2 points from Vasily Podkolzin is a pretty sweet consolation prize for the Abbotsford home crowd.
Before heading south for a three-game road trip to California, the Canucks take on the Colorado Eagles in a midweek match-up of Division rivals.
Week 2 predictions review
I’m still riding the positivity high of my last Stanchies, so I’m going to guess the Canucks go 50/50 in two more games decided by single-digit goal differentials.
Call me Nostradamus because I nailed last weekend’s predictions, sort of!
Abbotsford lost both games but picked up a consolation point after rallying back from a 3-goal deficit in the 3rd period of their Saturday OT loss. Both games were decided by a single goal, which makes last week’s predictions a 10/10 success in my books.
Left-shot defenceman Chad Nychuk was loaned to Kalamazoo after missing the club’s first four games as a healthy scratch. Nychuk posted 5 assists in 13 games with Abbotsford last season.
During the club’s Friday game against the Calgary Wranglers, Tristen Nielsen took a brutal check to the head from Clark Bishop. Nielsen missed the Saturday game, and his status is uncertain heading into the Tuesday-Wednesday double-header.
Nils Äman blocked a slap shot point-blank off his ankle and needed help from two Abbotsford skaters and the team’s medical staff to get off the ice. His status, too, is uncertain.
Games 5 and 6 versus Colorado Eagles
Last season, the Eagles and Canucks split their season series dead even. Like, completely even.
Both teams picked up a regulation win, a regulation loss, a shootout win, and a shootout loss. The two teams combined for 8 goals for and 8 goals against through four games played, and 138 shots on goal to 138 shots on goal. The only edge in the series was shots for, at 5v5, where Abbotsford outshot Colorado 90 to 86. It was a weirdly close series.
Abbotsford hasn’t gotten off to the same quality of start as they did last year.
Last season, Abbotsford finished 2nd in the AHL for the fewest shots allowed on a per-game basis. The only team that finished with a better rate of shot prevention was the eventual Calder-winning champions, Hershey Bears. Additionally, Abbotsford finished with the 10th-highest shooting percentage in the AHL. They finished with the 22nd and 23rd-ranked power play and PK. They outshot opponents 1671 to 1437 and outscored opponents 154 to 120 at 5v5.
Through four games, Abbotsford is rocking the 4th-highest shooting percentage in the league while generating the 13th most shots for per-game. They’re getting below-average goaltending, 0.877sv% combined, 21st in the AHL. They’re conceding the 7th-most shots against per game in the league despite outshooting opponents 51-49 at 5v5.
Arturs Silovs hasn’t shown the quality of performances that earned him a cup of coffee with the NHL Canucks last year. Through three starts, Silovs is rocking just a 0.847 save percentage at 5v5. Fortunately, the Eagles roll into town with Arvid Holm and Justus Annunen, who’ve posted respective save rates of 0.833 and 0.907 each.
Mid-week 3 Predictions
The Eagles lead the AHL in shots for per-game (39.75/game) but are currently rocking the 6th-worst shooting percentage. Additionally, Colorado is repping the 15th-best power play in the AHL, with 25% of their total goals being scored on the power play.
Abbotsford, on the other hand, have scored only 16% of their total goals on the power play.
I expect Nikita Tolopilo to get a start here as Silovs works through the kinks of his game. Expect the Abbotsford Canucks to come out firing on all cylinders as they try to do the home crowd a favour after a deflating final result to their epic third-period comeback on Saturday.
Once again, I predict a split in results. However, I’m picking Abbotsford to pick up three points again, winning one in regulation and losing one via the shootout.
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