Like Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers, the Vancouver Canucks come into this game with nothing to play for. They just fired their general manager and have been a complete mess all season. The Avalanche are the superior team and should win this game as long as they are focussed. They had no problem taking care against the Oilers on Tuesday, but it’s possible that they are looking ahead to the final two games against the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks, both of which are much bigger games.
In the last meeting between these two teams, Henrik Sedin didn’t play and Daniel Sedin was pretty invisible. Henrik is back in the lineup, though, which means that the Avs will have to account for both Sedin twins. Throughout the years, the Sedin’s have terrorized the Avs, but Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda have been very good at shutting down the other teams top scorers as of late. They’ll have another tough task on Thursday though.
Penalty Kill Success
After the Avs went 2/6 on the penalty kill and lost three straight games, Patrick Roy started using his best players on the penalty kill. In the 8 games since then, the PK has gone 23/27. If the penalty kill can keep up that number, it might not be as big of a worry heading into the playoffs. Even though the Canucks power play hasn’t been good this year, they have a lot of talent on their first unit and the Sedin twins are always dangerous with the extra space.
Rogers Center Woes
The Avs haven’t won in Vancouver in 4 years. That’s nine straight games. They’ve been great on the road this year, but have already lost once in Vancouver this season. The Avs have righted a lot of wrongs this season and it’d be nice if they could do it one more time by defeating the Canucks in Vancouver.
If the Avs win against Vancouver, they officially clinch second place and would have home ice in the first round. They’d also move into a tie with the St. Louis Blues if the Blues lose to Minnesota. The puck drops at 8PM EST on that game, meaning the Avs will know the final score during the first intermission. I’m sure the team will come out strong either way, but if the Blues lose and the Avs know, expect to see a very hungry team to start the second.
Click here for Avalanche vs Canucks tickets to tonight’s game.
Tags: Colorado Avalanche