Game Day Preview: Vancouver Looks To Shake Losing Streak With Win At Montreal

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MONTREAL –  Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens stretches out to stop the puck on a shot by Jannik Hansen #36 of the Vancouver Canucks during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on November 9, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Canadiens defeated the Canucks 2-0. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

 

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andrewchernoff By Andrew Chernoff

November 2, 2016

Game Time: 4:30 PM PST
Location: Bell Centre
TV: Sportsnet
Radio: TSN 1040

Vancouver (4-4-1=9 pts) play the first of a six game road trip tonight at the Bell Centre against Eastern conference rivals, Montreal Canadiens (8-0-1=17 pts).

Canucks start the 4th of 16 back-to-back series tonight, continuing tomorrow night in Ottawa. Canucks are 2-3-1 in back-to-back series this season.

Vancouver comes into the game with a road record of 0-1-1, looking for their first road win of the season.

Canucks now sit in 17th place in the NHL (tied with four other teams); tied for 4th place in the Pacific division with Calgary, with 9 points each; 6 points behind the Oilers, 1 point behind the Anaheim Ducks.

Vancouver has been outscored 14-4 in their last four games with shutout losses at home to Ottawa and Edmonton.

In their last game, Vancouver  finished up a three game homestand against the Washington Capitals, losing their 5th consecutive game (0-4-1), and picking up their 4th consecutive regulation loss, 5-2.

Bo Horvat scored his fourth goal of the season; Jannik Hansen, had his 2nd goal of the season. Erik Gudbranson, Sven Baertschi and Jake Virtanen picked up assists.

Canucks starting goalie Jacob Markstrom, stopped 30 of 34 shots in the game, in his 4th game start.

Vancouver may have some injured players returning to the lineup against the Canadiens tonight.

At morning practice yesterday, Canuck coach Willie Desjardins was noncommittal as whether Tanev would be ready, but hoped both Dorsett and Burrows would see action against the Canadiens.

Ryan Miller expected to get the game start against the Canadiens tonight. Miller is 11-7-1 with a 2.07 GAA and .935 Sv% in his career at Bell Centre

Vancouver’s goaltender tandem of Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom are 14th best in the NHL, with a 2.56 GAA and a .910 SV%.

Miller is 7th in goals against average in the NHL with a 1.74 GAA; and 9th in save percentage with a .939 SV%. Markstrom is 22nd in goals against average with a 2.35 GAA and 27th in SV% with .913.

Leading scorers:  Henrik Sedin (3-2=5 pts), Brandon Sutter (1-4=5 pts), Daniel Sedin (2-2=4 pts), Loui Eriksson (0-4=4 ts), Bo Horvat (4-0=4 pts), Jannik Hansen (2-2=4 pts).

Scratches: #55-Alex Biega; #88-Nikita Tryamkin; #9-Jack Skille

Canucks injured (As of Nov 2): #17-Anton Rodin; #46-Jayson Megna

The Canadiens in their last game received a timely goal from Shea Weber that broke a 1-1 tie in the third period; and Carey Price stopped 37 of 38 shots, lifting Montreal over the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on Saturday night for its seventh straight victory.

The Canadiens are at the top the NHL and the Atlantic division, with 17 points.

Montreal have the best goaltending duo in the NHL, with Carey Price and Al Montoya, with a 1.43 GAA, and .954 SV%.

Price is 5-0-0, with a 1.40 GAA, and a .954 SV%. Montoya is 3-0-1, with a 1.47 GAA, and a .954 SV% and 1 SO.

Montreal leading scorers: Shea Weber (4-6-=10 pts); Alex Galchenyuk (3-5=8 pts); Brendan Gallagher (4-3=7 pts); Max Pacioretty (2-5-=7 pts); Alexander Radulov (2-5-=7 pts).

Montreal special teams are: 7 for 32: 21.9 percent on the power play overall (14th in the NHL); and 31 for 35: 88.6 percent on the penalty kill overall (6th in the NHL).

Vancouver special teams are: 3 for 28: 10.7 percent on the power play overall (26th in the NHL), with 37 shots for, 10 shots against, 1 shorthanded goal against; and 17 for 21: 81.0 percent on the penalty kill overall (18th best in NHL), with 28 shots against, 3 shots for, 1 shorthanded goal for.

Vancouver has allowed 23 goals against (9th best in NHL), while Montreal has surrendered 13 (1st in NHL).

This Time Last Year:

Canucks Clobber Canadiens Handing Montreal First Loss

The Canadiens were one point short of their 9-0-0 start last season, which ended with a 5-1 loss in Vancouver.

Montreal had set an NHL record with nine straight regulation wins to start the 2015-16 season, and was one win from tying the best start in NHL history set by the 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres, when they landed in Vancouver for a game on October 27, 2015.

Jared McCann scored twice; Luca Sbisa, Radim Vrbata and Derek Dorsett had the other goals; and Ryan Miller made 25 saves as the Canucks beat the Canadiens  to hand the them their first loss of the season; ending Montreal’s dream of tying the best start in NHL history.

What’s at stake:

Deja Vu again.

Montreal has seven straight wins; the Canucks have five straight losses.

Canucks becoming winning streak spoilers like they were last season, and  at the same time losing streak terminators, seems like the plan I say.

Canucks under achievers continuing to under excel, be unimpressive, unexcitable, and dispassionate, could ruin a promising road trip.

Promising? Yes…promising.

This seasons’ Canucks are not the team of last  season, no matter how familiar some things to that team raise their ugly form from time to time.

I know Vancouver play some tough, resilient Eastern conference teams on this road trip, but they did last season as well, but it is possible it may not turn out so bad.

Let me explain. And I ask for patience. I shall eventually arrive at my point.

Vancouver went on a 7-game road trip, November 7-18 last season, and came home with:

  • A 1-4-2 record; in which they scored 18 goals (2.57 GF/GP), and surrendered 25 goals against (3.57 GA/GP)
  • They did have 234 shots (33.4 SF/GP); giving up 230 shots (32.9 SA/GP)
  • And they actually had some power play success, going 5 for 28: 17.9 percent; and were 18 for 26: 69.2 percent shorthanded
  • Vancouver had 203 face-off wins out of 450 face-offs: 45.11 percent
  • They had a total of:
    • 118 hits; 86 blocked shots; 56 giveaways; 38 takeaways; 96 penalty minutes; 7.7 shooting percentage
  • CorsiFor% (5 on 5) on the road trip was: 53.09 percent
  • 5 on 5 Zone Start% was: 59.6 percent
  • They had 292 shot attempts for 5 on 5 (41.7 CorsiFor/GP); and 258 shot attempts against 5 on 5 (36.9 CorsiAgainst/GP)

The road trip last November was one extra game long than this year; Vancouver had great goaltending last season; injury issues occurred during the trip; they were in most of the games, and with better fortune, the road trip could have been more successful than it was.

The problem was defense. Yes, the goaltending was good but the support their teammates gave them was not proportionate and it was a stark contrast from their record before and after the road trip.

When Vancouver went on the trip, they were:

  • 6-3-4; 37 goals for(2.85 GF/GP); 29 goals against (2.23 GA/GP)
  • Their power play was 7 for 40: 17.5 percent; penalty kill was 31 for 35: 88.6 percent
  • Face-off winning percentage was 50.2 percent
  • CorsiFor% (5 on 5) was 46.93 percent; 5 on 5 zone start percentage was 47.41 percent

When they returned to Vancouver, the Canucks had only seen a difference in their goals for production from when they began of a drop of 1.96 goals for.

On the other hand, their defensive play on the road trip, and goals against nearly doubled their goals against they totaled before in 13 games (29 goals before; 25 goals on the road trip).

They started with 29 goals against, picked up 25 in 7 games, and saw their goals against average jump by 1.34 GA/GP on the road trip to 3.57 GA/GP.

When they finished the road trip, the goals against average as a team nearly added a half a goal per game, while their goals for average had only dipped by about a tenth of a goal per game.

The power play on the road trip had a better success rate (if barely, but not worse).

As for the penalty kill, well, it stayed in Vancouver during the road trip because it really stunk on the road trip: 32 percent of the goals against on the road trip came from opponents power play success.

The Canucks allowed twice as many goals a man short in 7 games than they did in 13 previous games.

The point: This Canucks team is better defensively so far this season, and if Vancouver can generate at least the offense it had last season on that November road trip, this season, then the Canucks could return to Vancouver in a lot better shape than last year’s team did, and that would be no small achievement.

Pregame Notes

Regular Season Game 10, Road Game 3

Records:
Van: 4-3-1 (Road: 0-1-1)
Mont: 0-0-0 (Home: 5-0-0)

Team    SF    SA     PP        PK     PIM    HITS   GF   GA
Van        225  256    3-28      17-21     56         153       17     23
Mont     271   284   31-35     13-18     99        202       31     13

Team        CF               CA           SCF          SCA       CF60   CA60    CF%
Van        437(341)    476(387)    182(137)   188(153)    46.32   52.57      46.84
Mont     499(405)    531(413)    169(138)    192(143)    57.86   59.86     49.15

Note: 5v5 stats in parenthesis for CF & CA
SCF=scoring chances for; SCA=scoring chances against.

Potential Canucks Lineup:

#22D. Sedin-#33H.Sedin-#36Hansen
#60Granlund-#20Sutter-#21Ericksson
#47Baertschi-#53Horvat-#18Virtanen
#14Burrows-#50Gaunce-#15Dorsett

#23Edler-#8Tanev
#27Hutton-#44Gudbranson
#5Sbisa-#63Larsen

#30Miller
#25Markstrom

Canucks At A Glance:

  • In their last 10 games against Montreal, Vancouver is: 3-7-0
  • Last season Vancouver’s record against Montreal: 1-1-0
  • After 9-games this season:
    •  Vancouver has been held to two goals or fewer in 7 of 9 games.
    • Canucks have:
      • 225 shots for (29th); 256 shots against (6th); 124 blocked shots (19th); 153 hits (29th); 97 missed shots (6th); 70 giveaways (10th); 46 takeaways (23rd).
    • Vancouver:
      • Has a face-off winning percentage of 48.5 percent, 23rd best overall in the NHL
      • Is 3rd with 123 face-offs won when ahead
      • Has the 12th best save percentage in the NHL at .914.
      • Has the 9th best shot against average in the NHL with 28.4 SA/G.
      • Has the 30th best shots for average in the NHL with 25.0 SF/G.
  • Alex Edler is tied for the NHL lead in blocked shots with 31 in 9 games, averaging 3.4 BkS/GP.
  • Edler is 12th in the NHL in even strength TOI with 185:45.
  • Edler also has the 35th most TOI in the NHL with 219:01; and is 14th in the NHL in TOI/GP at 24:20; 24th in Shifts/GP with 29.4.
  • Brandon Sutter is 19th in the NHL in face-offs with 172; 25th in face-off wins with 84; 17th in face-off losses with 88;
  • Canuck defensemen have a joint 2G-7A for 9 PTS, after 9-games this season.
    • Last season after 9-games, Canuck defensemen had 4G-11A for 15 PTS.
  • Canucks forwards have 14G-20A for 34 PTS, after  9-games this season.
    • Last season, after 9-games, they had 20G-30A for 50 PTS.
  • Vancouver goals by period:
    • First period: 2-goals for (30th in NHL); 9-goals against (27th in NHL)
    • Second period: 5-goals for (24th in NHL); 6-goals against (5th best in NHL)
    • Third period: 7-goals for (23rd in NHL); 8-goals against (10th best in NHL)
    • Overtime: 2-goals for (2nd in NHL); 0-goals against (1st in NHL)

Advanced Stats:

  • Vancouver has the 26th best CorsiFor% (5 on 5) in the NHL: 46.84 percent, and the 24th best CorsiFor% (All Strengths): 47.86 percent.
  • Canucks have the 24th highest SCF (All Strengths): 182; and 8th lowest SCA (All Strengths): 188.
  • Vancouver has the 26th highest SCF (5 on 5): 137; 16th in SCA (5 on 5): 153.
  • Canucks are 19th in Corsi 5 on 5 (Zone Start%): 49.30 percent.
  • Individual CorsiFor% (5 on 5):
    • Top Forwards:
      • Jayson Megna: 2 GP: 52.17 percent
      • Derek Dorsett: 5 GP: 50.94 percent
      • Loui Ericksson: 9 GP: 50.90 percent
      • Henrik Sedin: 9 GP: 50.66 percent
      • Daniel Sedin: 9 GP: 50.00 percent
      • Markus Granlund: 9 GP: 50.00 percent
      • Jannik Hansen: 9 GP: 46.98 percent
    • Top Defensemen:
      • Troy Stecher: 3 GP: 50.96 percent
      • Erik Gudbranson: 8 GP: 48.09 percent
      • Ben Hutton: 8 GP: 48.08 percent
      • Luca Sbisa: 7 GP: 46.88 percent
      • Philip Larsen: 8 GP:45.99 percent
      • Chris Tanev: 6 GP: 45:06 percent
      • Alex Edler: 8 GP: 44.41 percent

They Said It….

n1416

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