vs. Arizona Coyotes (28-31-6) Wednesday, March 9th
Leading scorer: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (19 goals, 49 points)
Keys to the game:
- Don’t make it a lovefest for Auston Matthews
- Shut down Alex Tanguay
- Clog up the rush when defending
The Arizona Coyotes and the Canucks are tied in the standings with 52 points each. The Coyotes, however, got some trades done on February 29th, most notably trading away Mikkel Boedker to Colorado in exchange for forward Alex Tanguay. Tanguary notched two goals and an assist in his one and only game as a Coyote. Fired up to go and lead this group of young Yotes, the veteran should not be overlooked, like how Shane Doan was overlooked by the Canucks.
More from The Canuck Way
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- Canucks kick off 2023 with disappointing 6-2 loss to Islanders
- 2nd period penalty trouble sinks Canucks in 4-2 loss against Winnipeg
That being said, if the Canucks lose this game, they have a legitimate chance of dropping into the last five spots in the NHL standings. If this home game is going to stay pretty even without captain Henrik and potentially Chris Tanev too, the Canucks have to be motivated enough to push the kids to not give up. Emotion, again, will be key lest Rogers Arena starts chanting the Matthews chant.
And to do that, the Canucks will need to shut down completely the second-worst shot generating team in the league the Coyotes are. Arizona has averaged just 27.7 shots this year but are virtually tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins in goals per game. What does this mean? They score on high-quality shots and not a barrage of weak shots. Shut them down the wing, clog up their rush, and don’t give anything easy.
Markstrom’s advanced stats show that he is a goaltender who thrives under high-danger situation. Get him in net and he might do wonders. Who knows.
For a Vancouver Win:
Janik Beichler: I don’t care about losses as much as I used to anymore, thanks to three fellas who go by the names Auston Matthews, Patrick Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi. But please, dear Canucks, do not lose every game this week.
Steve Boddy: Arizona, folks, is in full tank mode.
Sarah Laug: I say Bo Horvat or Jake Virtanen scores the game winner here!
For an Arizona Win:
I can guarantee you a Canucks win if Jacob Markstrom starts on Wednesday and the Canucks don’t give Oliver Ekman-Larsson half the ice to work with the kids. But of course, that will never happen. Not this year.
Next: HOME vs. Nashville