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Hockey, Sports

Canucks look to solve road woes in Philadelphia

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Bailey Meadows Jan 12, 2017 2:01 am 164

After stealing a point in their last game against Nashville on Tuesday, the Canucks look to get back in the win column tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Canucks are 6-1-1 in their last eight games, but have lost two in a row on the road. They’re just below the playoff bar, chasing the LA Kings. A win tonight coupled with an LA loss would put Vancouver into the last wild card spot.

The Flyers meanwhile, are experiencing the opposite as of late. After flying up the Eastern Conference standings with a 10-game winning streak in early December, the team has faltered since.

Philadelphia has lost seven of their last eight games, and suddenly find themselves in danger of slipping out of the playoff spot they currently hold.

See also

Matchup

Vancouver Canucks (20-19-4, 44 points) vs Philadelphia Flyers (21-16-6, 48 points)

Venue: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

Time: 4 pm PT

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: TSN 1040

By the numbers

Canucks Flyers
Goals for 2.37 (25th) 2.79 (10th)
Goals against 2.84 (19th) 3.00 (26th)
Power play % 13.7 (27th) 21.9 (9th)
Penalty kill % 80.7 (20th) 81.1 (18th)
Shots for 27.5 (29th) 31.7 (6th)
Shots against 30.7 (20th) 28.6 (8th)
Faceoff % 52.3 (5th) 51.4 (7th)

Lineup

Look for the Canucks to ice a similar lineup to Tuesday’s game in Nashville. To the chagrin of some fans, that means no Reid Boucher or Anton Rodin once again.

In addition, the power play units remain in tact, including the commonly talked about Jayson Megna on the second unit. Did you really expect anything else from Willie D?

D. Sedin H. Sedin Eriksson
Granlund Sutter Megna
Baertschi Horvat Burrows
Gaunce Chaput Skille
Edler Stecher
Sbisa Tanev
Tryamkin Biega
Miller

What you need to know

1. Sedins in a slump

It’s something that no one likes to talk about. Daniel and Henrik Sedin are so cherished among Canucks fans, sometimes it’s hard to watch without bias and acknowledge that they’re in a rut. Which is exactly where they are right now.

There’s no other way to describe it. Henrik has four points in his last ten games while Daniel has just one in the same stretch. That’s not enough from the guys who should be leading this team offensively, like they have so many years prior.

Personally, I think much of the Sedins struggles have been due to Megna being on that line for much of that stretch, but that’s besides the point.

Jannik Hansen’s speed is sorely missed on that line.

The Canucks have still managed to win games in this stretch thanks to their new top offensive threats. That would be Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi, who each have 13 points in the last 14 games.

That, and stellar goaltending from Ryan Miller, have kept the Canucks in most games.

2. Dangerous Flyers PP

A big key to the game will be how well Canucks do on special teams. The Flyers have the third most amount of power play goals this season (32), with most of that output coming from their lethal first unit.

The four forwards from that unit (Giroux, Voracek, Schenn, Simmonds) all have at least 14 power play points, accounting for four of the top 25 scorers in the entire league on the man advantage.

3. Red-hot Ryan Miller

Don’t look now, but Ryan Miller is on a tear.

Since Christmas, the 36-year-old has a 5-0-1 record and a sparkling .951 save percentage. He’s been a big reason for the Canucks’ recent surge back into the playoff race.

If you ask me, his hot play means we likely won’t be seeing a Miller trade at the deadline like some anticipated at the start of the year.

He may even get a contract extension, and with Thatcher Demko experiencing some anticipated growing pains in his first pro season, it’s probably the right move.

Prediction

Looking at the Flyers top power play unit makes me feel all kinds of nervous, and they are desperate for a win.

Until the Canucks prove they can win on the road (their away record is 5-13-2), I can’t pick them away from Rogers Arena.

The Sedins will finally snap their slump, each registering a point in a losing effort, 4-2 to the Flyers.


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Bailey Meadows
A BCIT grad who just can't get enough hockey. I do other stuff too, but it's not as cool as hockey.

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