Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Game Starts In The First Period

Tonight, the Vancouver Canucks face their latest, biggest test of the season. A win tonight against the Calgary Flames and the boys can move to within one point of the Northwest Division lead. Lose and the sky comes crashing once again in Canuck-land.

So far this season, the Canucks have a woeful 2-8-1 record against the Northwest Division. With their next three games against divisional foes and four of their games until the New Year against the same Flames, that record will most certainly have to improve (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun):

Much has been made of the Canucks' sorry 2-8-1 record against fellow Northwest Division teams. They enter tonight's game two points behind the Flames, who have three games in hand. Vancouver can ill afford to throw away too many more points against division rivals.

"It's going to be a big, big game," said Vancouver centre Henrik Sedin, echoing his coach. "If it's not a must-win game, it's pretty close to a must-win for us."

Tonight's game is the first of four the Canucks will play against the Flames between now and Jan. 2. Anything worse than a split in those four games could be devastating to their playoff ambitions.

"Obviously all points are important, but divisional games are that much more important," said centre Brendan Morrison. "I think winning these games goes that much further to getting teams where they want to go and that is to the playoffs. You look at the last several years and the difference between the team that does get it and those that don't is three or four points. You win two games against one opponent in your division and that's the swing right there."
It's not going to be easy (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province):

The Canucks have already lost two games to the Flames this year. And now Calgary comes to GM Place on a major roll. The Flames have been unstoppable at home recently, winning 10 in a row to set a franchise record. Jarome Iginla has been lights out with a six-game goal streak. After tonight, the Canucks will meet the Flames three more times in the following three weeks.

Vigneault said tonight is a pivotal game for Vancouver, as he's hoping his team can win back-to-back games for the first time since they won three in a row Nov. 17-22.
If the Canucks should learn anything from last Saturday's game, it's that they have to show up earlier than the third period; spotting one of the hottest teams in hockey a 4-1 lead is never the best game plan.

More from today's MSM:

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, 6:23 AM


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At December 19, 2006 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the score in tonight's game?


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