Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wanted: Goals

Don't let tonight's opponent's record fool you; these are not the Calgary Flames from the first month of the season. Since a 3-7-2 start, the Flames have now won three games in a row, most recently last night when they shut out and stopped the Anaheim Ducks' 16-game point streak. In that span, they have only allowed three goals - not a good thing for the Canucks, whose lack of scoring ability is as well-documented as Andy Stitzer's.

Here's Brad Ziemer (Vancouver Sun) with just how bad things are for the offense:

Remember when we used to make fun of how offensively challenged the Flames were? Well, they still are, but they're scoring more goals than the Canucks. Before their game Friday night, Calgary had averaged 2.64 goals per game and ranked 21st in the NHL. Vancouver is averaging just 2.29 goals per game and is ranked 28th.

It looks like Alain Vigneault is breaking up the PS2 line and moving Markus Naslund back to play with the Sedins:

"I think right now that is what we are going to do," Vigneault said after Friday's practice. "We started off that way this season and they were generating a lot. We split them up because we were trying to get two offensive lines, but you know I think we might be better off having one line that is a threat almost every time they are on the ice and let the other three lines work hard and see who is playing the best on that night."
He's also juggling the rest of the other lines:

If Friday's practice was an indication, this isn't going to simply be a Naslund-Taylor Pyatt swap. Vigneault mixed up all of his lines in a practice that was very much focused on offence.

Pyatt, who has had some success skating with the twins, lined up with Ryan Kesler and Josh Green on Friday. Morrison skated with Trevor Linden and Tommi Santala, while Marc Chouinard, Matt Cooke and Alex Burrows formed the other line.

Struggling winger Jan Bulis appeared to be the odd man out and could replace Chouinard in the press box when the Canucks play host to the Calgary Flames tonight.
The defense may also get a boost as the Canucks expect Sami Salo to return to the lineup.

"He practised real well today (Friday) and I think he wants to go," Vigneault said. "So tomorrow morning if he steps on the ice and is ready to go he is going to play."
The game starts at 7 PM and will be on CBC Hockey Night In Canada. Following the game, Roberto Luongo is the scheduled guest on HNIC After Hours.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 9:57 AM


At November 11, 2006 12:49 PM, Blogger Jeremy said...

I'm just hoping that Calgary's tired from last night's game. It was so disheartening to see the last loss that my expectations have fallen to new lows.


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