Stats, standings, and predictions for the Abbotsford Canucks’ back-to-back against Colorado
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
17 days ago
Despite Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Filip Hronek, Travis Dermott, Ethan Bear, and Tucker Poolman missing from the active roster due to injuries, the Vancouver Canucks are thriving with a patchwork defence comprised of Abbotsford regulars Christian Wolanin, Noah Juulsen, and Guillaume Brisebois.
Great news for the Vancouver team as they search for wins and cost-effective replacements.
Bad news for the Abbotsford team, as they struggle to maintain their playoff position without the majority of their top defensemen.
On top of losing Wolanin, Juulsen, and Brisebois to call-ups, Abbotsford has been without Brady Keeper for 31 of the last 32 games due to injury. Additionally, Vancouver traded Wyatt Kalynuk to the Hartford Wolf Pack for depth defenceman Zach Giuttari. Beyond the defence, at forward, Vancouver recalled Phil Di Giuseppe, Vasily Podkolzin, and Nils Äman after brief stints on the Farm. Since the mass exodus of depth, Abbotsford has been unable to shelter their youth in the same way that led to their late November to mid-January dominance.
Before we preview the Farm’s weekend series against the Colorado Eagles, let’s see how we did with our predictions!
Week 21 predictions review
Expect Silovs to start against Ontario Wednesday night before playing cleanup duty in the Saturday game against Henderson following the conclusion of the NHL trade deadline. We are setting the floor at 3 points and the ceiling at 5 points for this busy road weekend against two deceptively tough outs.
Well, we had the goalie rotation reversed, but we nailed the points-floor prediction! Abbotsford went 1-1-1 in their three-game set against Ontario and Henderson, with Spencer Martin recording the team’s lone win in Ontario and a loser-point in their shootout loss to Henderson.
Sorry, we forgot to preview the Manitoba series. But nothing could have prepared us for the atrocious refereeing that plagued that series.
Current all-situations scoring leaders
5v5 scoring leaders (season)
5v5 on-ice goal differential (season)
Games 59 & 60 versus Colorado
Over their last five games, the Farm’s two regulation losses came during sub-.900 goaltending performances from Spencer Martin. But the blame can’t be laid entirely at his feet. Over their last ten games, Abbotsford has been outscored 33-25, winning just one game by more than a goal. The team has outshot their opponents 315-296 across all situations and 231-204 at 5v5, but have struggled mightily to convert on their chances. Heading into their weekend double-header, the Farm holds a team shooting percentage of 10.63%. For their last 10, the team has converted on shots well below their season clip at a lowly 7.94%.
On special teams, the club’s power play has been fine (2 goals on 13 opportunities), but their penalty kill has been less-than-stellar, having allowed 4 goals on 20 opportunities. Again, chalk up the scoring woes and weak special teams to the exodus of experienced veteran talent.
Of the notable remaining players on the roster, Danila Klimovich appears to be hurting the most with the lack of depth on the roster. With linemate Arshdeep Bains shuffled up the roster to play big minutes against the opposing team’s best players, Klim has been relegated to less-sheltered fourth-line minutes. As such, Klim’s production has atrophied.
Since mid-January, Klim has scored 3 goals and an assist, one late tally with the goalie pulled for a 6-on-4 power play situation, and 3 other points at 5v5. Klim has played most of his ice time with Chase Wouters and Vinny Arseneau, who are no slouches at producing in limited ice time. However, the line’s lack of an offensive-minded play driving forward has led to Klim experiencing an 8-game scoring drought.
On the other hand, Bains has thrived with the promotion up the lineup into tougher matchups.
Since mid-January, Bains has been fourth on the team in 5v5 scoring with 3 goals and 6 assists while playing alongside Tristen Nielsen and Linus Karlsson. Like Bains, Nielsen has had a monstrous season post-mid-January, despite the team’s dismal record. Nielsen leads the team in 5v5 goalscoring with 8 total and the best on-ice goal differential. With Nielsen out for Abbotsford, the team has outscored their opposition 20-10 at 5v5 — an incredible stat considering the bump in competition for Nielsen and his linemates.
The Colorado Eagles head into Abbotsford on a three-game losing streak, having won just three of their last ten games. They’re presently 25th in the AHL by total goals and 27th by goals-per-game but possess the fifth-lowest rate of goals against per game. Their power play and penalty kill rank 23rd and 22nd in the league, respectively. Overall, the Eagles are converting at the fourth-lowest clip in the AHL at 9.23% but are receiving the fourth-best save percentage in the league by their goaltending battalion.
The Farm is in similar dire condition to Colorado, losing six of their last 10. Colorado edges their Pacific Division rival with three loser points to Abbotsford’s one. Despite their woes of late, Abbotsford remains 6th in the AHL by total goals and 7th by goals-per-game and have steadily improved to having the 15th-lowest rate of goals against per game! Special teams remain a mixed bag, with their power play ranking 17th-best and their penalty kill ranking 7th-worst. They remain a great shooting team with the 12th-best shooting clip at 10.63% and are still conceding the 2nd-fewest number of shots per game.
This weekend series closes the season series against the Eagles. The Eagles have outscored the Farm 5-3 while outshooting them 67-55 across all situations. On the bright side, the Abbotsford Canucks’ PK is 8/8 against Colorado. So, y’know. There’s that!
Colorado enters the Abbotsford Centre on the heels of four-straight games against the league-leading Calgary Wranglers. Expect them to vent some frustrations on Abbotsford following three straight losses in which they were outscored 12-8.
Week 22* predictions
The Eagles and Canucks are neck-and-neck in the standings, with Colorado narrowly edging Abbotsford by points percentage. While two losses wouldn’t be catastrophic to their playoff ambitions, two points would go a long way to securing a 3rd-place finish in the Pacific Division. Doing enough to maintain 3rd place in the Pacific Division is necessary to avoid the Calgary Wranglers matchup in the semi-finals.
That said, we predict Abbotsford will win both games against Colorado, with Silovs and Martin picking up shutouts.
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