Previewing the Abbotsford Canucks’ week 7 back-to-back against the Calgary Wranglers
2 months ago
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It was a banner weekend for the Abbotsford Canucks as they matched and then extended their previous season-high win streak, on the road, against the Henderson Silver Knights.
While I was off galavanting on a business trip to Scottsdale, Dave Hall had CanucksArmy covered for The Farmies and absolutely crushed it for both game write-ups!
The Farm’s schedule remains light heading into December, with just six games over the next 15 days.
First up, a double-header match-up on the road against Pacific Division nemesis Calgary Wranglers closes the club’s November schedule.
Before we preview that match-up, let’s see how we did in our weekly predictions!
Week 6 predictions reviewI’m due for a prediction regression any day now. I’m picking the Canucks to lose in overtime once and win in regulation the other. Both games will be tight, dictated heavily by special teams
Well, I got my “prediction regression” prediction correct! The Abbotsford Canucks extended their win streak to five straight, with overtime and shootout victories against the Henderson Silver Knights, neither of which were dictated heavily by special teams! Over two games, Abbotsford outshot the Silver Knights 75 to 68 and outscored them 4 to 3 at evens, giving up a single power play goal across eight opportunities and scoring once shorthanded.
Games # 16 & 17 @ Calgary Wranglers
The Canucks look to build off their win streak against the one team who has had their number, historically speaking.
Last season, the Canucks lost seven of their first eight games against the Wranglers. The Farm then rallied off three-straight regulation wins against the regular-season leading Wranglers before fighting tooth & nail over five straight match-ups, with each game decided by a single goal.
2022-23 Abbotsford Canucks game log against the Calgary Wranglers
The Abbotsford Canucks kept up the “single-digit margin of victory” trend earlier this season during their home opener weekend, where the team lost back-to-back games to the Wranglers by a combined score of 10 to 8.
The Wranglers dominated at even strength, outscoring Abbotsford 9 to 4 over the two-game series. The Canucks made their hay during “comeback szn” time, scoring three goals with the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker. Though goaltending was not on Abbotsford’s side to start the season, the team’s defensive play against a top-tier AHL squad was encouraging. With the game tied, Abbotsford went dead-even in shots on goal, 33 to 33, and were outshot at 5v5 across all score-states (trailing, even, ahead) 48 to 41. That the Farm managed to score eight goals against the reigning AHL MVP and back-to-back Baz Bastien Memorial Award winner (Best Goaltender) is nothing short of an accomplishment in its own right.
Positives and Negatives
The Canucks rank third in the AHL for most goals scored, third most per game, generating the 14th-most shots per game while converting at the fourth-best clip in the AHL at 12.09%. Defensively, the club has allowed the 16th-most goals against per game while conceding the 17th-fewest shots per game. The Wranglers sit just below them in the “shots allowed” chart, having conceded the 18th-most shots per game.
Considering their goalscoring prowess through 15 games, it’s remarkable that they’ve done so with the 3rd-worst power play in the league and the 14th-worst penalty kill. Abbotsford sits in a three-way tie for the most shorthanded goals scored in the league, with five total.
The Wranglers host the ninth-best power play and penalty kill despite being the fourth-worst team for taking penalties. Having the best goaltending tandem in the AHL, with a combined .923 save percentage, certainly helps!
On the bright side, Arturs Silovs has found his form through the light November schedule.
Over his last five starts, Silovs has stopped 103 of 109 shots and recorded two shutouts, good for a .945 save percentage and a 1.38 goals-against average.
Over Dustin Wolf’s last five starts, he has stopped 105 of 115 shots and recorded two shutouts, good for a .913 save percentage and a 2.01 goals-against average.
Abbotsford sits four points back of the Wranglers, who are 1st in the Pacific Division, with a game in hand. Points on the road against an opponent of Calgary’s calibre will go a long way as the season inches along.
Week 7 predictions
Unfortunately, the Calgary Wolfs, I mean Wranglers, are very good at hockey, especially when against the Abbotsford Canucks.
Fortunately, the Canucks have found a way to stifle their opponent’s goalscoring abilities and grind out close victories over this recent five-game win streak.
I’m picking Abbotsford to defeat Calgary at least once in regulation but lose another in overtime.
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