Thursday, October 27, 2005

Gameday: Vancouver at Colorado

The Vancouver Canucks are in Colorado for their second meeting of the season. And of course this is Bertuzzi's first game back in Colorado since you know what.

In the last meeting in Vancouver, the game was a rather mundane affair which featured little physical play and no fights. Will things be different tonight? Don't count on it... of course the (Canadian) media will do their best to hype the game.

Vancouver (8-1-1)

The Canucks have won six in a row and have tied the franchise record for the best start to a season. Vancouver's recent success is largely due to two things. The first is their work ethic, they have not been outworked since the 6-0 loss to Minnesota. The second is the improvement of their special teams and their ability to stay out of the penalty box. The power-play is now up to 18.2% and while the penalty kill stats are not good, 78.1%, they have been much better than at the beginning of the season.

Vancouver has been healthy all season, but tonight they will be without the services of Bryan Allen who is suffering the ill-effects of a few blocked shots. Wade Brookbank will take his place on the blueline.

Dan Cloutier will get the start in goal.

Colorado (4-4-1)

Colorado have one two of their last three games, both against the Oilers. The Avalanche will be looking to improve their home record(2-2-1) after blowing three goal leads in their previous two games at the Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche were arguably the better team during 5-on-5 play in Vancouver. This time they have to capitalize on their scoring opportunities and they must find a way to contain the Canucks defense which contributed two goals.

David Aebischer will be getting the start in goal. Aebischer is 3-3-0 with a 3.54 GAA and .870 SvPct.

Keys to the Game

  1. Special Teams & Discipline - This is starting to sound like a broken record, but let's face it, with so many penalties each night most games are being decided by special teams.
  2. Goaltending - In the last meeting, Dan Cloutier was the difference in the first period. Who's going to be the difference tonight?
  3. Avoiding Distractions - Both teams will have to deal with the media attention and the unruly Colorado fans. Both teams must focus on the game and not the hype.

TV: PPV 6:00

In other news Vancouver signed Jason Doig to a two-way contract yesterday. Doig will remain in Manitoba.

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