Mar 192014
 

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators

Nothing to Lose
Nashville is pretty solidly out of the playoffs. I find this to possibly be their biggest advantage in tonight. Teams with nothing to lose tend to play much better than teams with something to lose. Also I think this game will be scrappy because the Preds are probably bitter and angry that they’ll be missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year (and only the second time since 2003) and the Canucks will be panicky and feisty because they’re desperate. I predict a Sestito fight or two. But Canucks will need to keep their heads (I’m looking at you Kassian and Sestito…) and control the penalties or they’ll lose and lose big.

Death By Slap Shot
Shea Weber is a man I love for 2 weeks every 4 years. Because that’s when his ability to kill a man with a slap shot works in my favor because he’s doing it for his/my Country. Tonight he’s my enemy and so is Torts’ blocking shots strategy because it’s the worst possible thing to do when Weber’s the one taking them. The last thing we need is another broken foot or jaw to deal with. So the strategy should be just to keep them from getting the shots.  Own the puck and keep them out of our zone. This should help Lack who has been struggling and letting in softies.

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Goalie Scorned
Pekka Rinne was pulled in his last game against Edmonton, where Preds lost 5-1. This could be seen as a something that will squelch his confidence tonight however, Rinne isn’t a rookie. More than likely that embarrassing loss will spark a fire in him and he’ll have something to prove against us. Plus, let’s be honest, we’re not a goalie’s worst nightmare anymore. Even if Rinne wasn’t angry and looking to avenge his last performance, he’d still be a challenge to our struggling offense.

The Bright Side
Burrows is back – you know that guy who scores a lot? Thank the Hockey Gods for that. If he can stay hot we’ve got a good chance. Edler’s been playing better and Bieksa’s been solid. Add to that Jensen’s solid play and goal-scoring efforts -he’s had 2 goals and one assist in his last 3 games –and we have a glimmer of hope.

Apr 152013
 

Even after the departure of Ryan Suter, the Nashville Predators stayed true to their identity. They don’t score a lot, but play their defense-first system to a tee, especially because their only true superstars, Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber, are back there, and this has, at least in recent years, allowed them to keep pace with the rest of the West.

But right now, with only a handful of games left in the regular season, here the Preds sit in 13th place in the Western Conference and 9 points out of a playoff spot. They’re decimated by injuries – with the likes of Colin Wilson and Mike Fisher out – and with youngsters like Filip Forsberg and Daniel Bang in the lineup, just getting their feet wet in the National Hockey League.

Strap in, Canucks fans. This game should be a doozy.

With the Canucks playing a set of back-to-back games today and tomorrow, Roberto Luongo will get his 18th start of the season. As we near the homestretch before the playoffs, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last start for “Numero Uno” during the regular season. Or maybe ever.

After a lackluster perfomance against the last place Colorado Avalanche on Saturday – I believe Ryan Kesler eloquently called their performance “shit” – the Canucks are looking for a much better effort.

Here’s hoping.

Canucks Record

23-12-6, 52 points (1st in the Northwest Division, 3rd in the Western Conference)

Season Series

The Canucks will be looking for the season sweep tonight in Music City. The Canucks won 1-0 back on February 22, and as well, a high-scoring 7-4 affair back on March 14.

The Predators are on the end of their own back-to-back set; the Detroit Red Wings shut them out 3-0 last night. They are currently on a 6-game skid and have gone just 1-7-2 in their last 10 games.

Who’s Hot

Dan “The Hammer” Hamhuis is currently riding a 5-game point streak (5 GP, 2G-3A-5P). @lyteforce may like to go streaking when Chris Tanev scores; personally, I’m hoping to put on my moon pants and scream “STOP, it’s Hammer time” when Hamhuis does something noteworthy.

Quickies

  • Ryan Kesler will start the game as a right wing, playing along side Derek Roy and Alex Burrows. After the Roy signing, many believed that Kesler moving to the wing would be the next step in order to utilize our top 6 forwards. Let the experiment begin. (Vancouver Sun)
%d bloggers like this: