vs. Colorado Avalanche (31-26-4) Sunday, February 21st
Leading scorer: Matt Duchene (25 goals, 47 points)
Keys to the game:
- Different storyline
- Offence from the blueline
- Miller’s Killer instinct
The Colorado Avalanche will return the favours that the Vancouver Canucks endowed upon them after the visiting Canucks won 3-1 in Mile High City the last time these two met. Now the Canucks will be the one looking to protect their home ice and trying to maintain a grip on the life jacket for the playoffs.
A different storyline is what the Canucks win. If Vancouver loses against the Avalanche, no big deal. If they get run out of the building without any retaliation, big deal. If they lose another game 5-2, huge deal. That alone — five straight 5-2 losses — has got to be enough to get a coach fired. A soft home game against a relatively beatable opponent? Can’t let that happen anymore.
Especially with three full days of rest after this game, the Canucks have to burn whatever is left in their tanks on Sunday so that they won’t regret a poor loss for the rest of the week and rest of the season. Maybe rest of his life for Willie Desjardins.
The last time these two played, it was the offence from the defence that came through for the Canucks. Matt Bartkowski had a nice goal and Ben Hutton factored in big time with two assists. Luca Sbisa turned into the 2010 version of Alex Edler when he pulled this off:
Lastly, Ryan Miller will look to claim the Canucks’ goal crease after Jacob Markstrom let in five goals in the loss to the Calgary Flames. After four straight games with five goals against (albeit some into an empty net in front of an empty crowd), Miller will need to be killer in his instincts to give the Canucks a decent chance to win.
For a Vancouver Win:
Sarah: I’ve got a feeling this game will see a bit of a fight to the Canucks. Game will not be easy. Colorado coming off a bit of success could be the perfect opponent for a struggling team, though.
Me: The Canucks can’t find any more ways to lose, can they? Two recent losses to the Calgary Flames should wake this team up. If nothing happens, I am just about ready to turn my Canucks watch on hold.
For a Colorado Win:
Janik: Hoping the 5-2 streak doesn’t continue, but the Canucks will likely lose again. The Avalanche is doing a good job holding on to their playoff spot while Vancouver keeps on losing.
Next: Home vs. Ottawa