PreGame PostUp: Vancouver @ Anaheim

Posted: 03/06/2011 by bc in Uncategorized

The Stakes: Barring an extended slump, the Canucks appear to have locked up the Clarence Campbell Bowl as Western Conference leader. The Nucks also lead the Flyers by 5 points who have two games in hand in the race for the President’s Trophy. Ducks fans remember life at top but for now our team is fighting for its playoff life. Our Ducks haven’t missed the playoffs in back to back seasons since 2000-2002. It would be a first under the stewardship of Henry and Susan Samueli.

The Situation: Ducks won a hard-earned comeback victory over Dallas Friday night. Our Ducks have won 3 straight and taken points in four straight games since acquiring and starting Dan Ellis in goal. Ducks lucky charms, When Girls Love Hockey bloggers Suz Broughton and Jenelyn Russo are in attendance to support CHOC Night. Ducks are undefeated this season when the ‘Girls’ are in the barn. For the Nucks it’s the physically draining third tilt in four nights and second of back to back road games. Vancouver whipped the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 last night.

It’s the fourth and final game of the season in which our Ducks have already won the series with a 2-0-1 lead. Each game has been decided by one goal. You can expect Coach Alain Vigneault to use this fact to motivate his team.

What to Watch: Short-timer Maxim Lappierre makes his first return to the Honda Center following his recent trade to Vancouver. Expect Lappy to try to show trading him was a mistake.

Overall, the Nucks haven’t been getting their expected result while going an even 5-5 in their last ten games. Following last night’s win against the Kings Roberto Loungo said;

“It’s tough to go full-throttle for 82 games. Obviously we feel that we’re not playing our best hockey right now, but we’re still a .500 team, and that says a bit about our group in the locker room. We just need to get ourselves in gear and realize that obviously there are going to be games like tonight, a lot down the stretch here, and we just have to find ways to win.”

I agree that’s it tough to go full throttle for 82 games. Count me in as all for cutting the regular season back to 70 games.

Which Vancouver shows up? Will it be Nucks that have played .500 hockey while not bringing their ‘A’ game? A fired up Nucks determined to take one game in the season series against our Ducks? Or the one I fear most, a Nucks that sees itself as a Stanley Cup and puts on a clinic while reminding us what a Stanley Cup looks like.

The teams are very similar in their respective strategies and approach.  The main difference is the respective ages of their star players. The Sedins are 30 and enjoying their peak years. The Ducks “Twins” are mid-twenties” and have yet to realize their potential.

Nucks have more speed and are less physical while our Ducks remain those boys your mother warned you about. The addition of Ruutu, Beauchemin and Winchester have restored the bad in Big Bad Ducks.

This season’s series has followed the high scoring trend of recent Ducks/Nucks contests. The teams have combined for 23 goals in just 3 games with our Ducks outscoring the Canucks overall, 12-11.

Prediction: We got our Lucky Charms in the house. Ducks win!

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