Rob The Hockey Guy

// A Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog

Canucks vs Hurricanes Game Preview – December 9, 2013

Courtesy hurricanes.nhl.com

Courtesy hurricanes.nhl.com

The Vancouver Canucks look to make it 5 straight wins in a row with a 7pm PST Monday night match-up vs the Carolina Hurricanes. These home games vs Eastern Conference opponents are must wins with the Canucks needing every point possible to stay competitive in the Pacific Division (aka – the Division of Death).

Last Game

The Canucks played a solid defensive game in a 3-1 win vs the Colorado Avalanche. The Canucks showed signs that they are understanding the importance of staying aggressive with the lead and poor Roberto Luongo lost his shutout bid when he surrendered a goal with 7 seconds left in the game. How many times has this happened to him? Unreal! The real blame has to lie on John Garrett for accidentally saying “shutout” with about 30 seconds left…

(credit to @ChiefsHockey97 on Twitter for the gif)

The Avalanche definitely did not show anything to me to suggest they are a legitimate Western Conference playoff team, but they do have some nice young players.

The Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes will be well rested and are coming off of an impressive 5-3 Friday night win vs the San Jose Sharks.  Apparently the Hurricanes did not get the memo from the Vancouver Sports Media that the Sharks are incapable of losing. Carolina currently sit 4th in the mediocre Metropolitan division.

Canucks Lines

Eddie Lack gets the start in the second half of back-to-back home games. Expect the lines to stay the same as the game vs the Avalanche:

D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Hansen

Higgins – Kesler – Santorelli

Weise – Richardson - Booth

Sestito – Dalpe – Kassian

Hamhuis – Tanev

Stanton – Bieksa

Garrison – Alberts

Lack

The pretend Larscheid report…

1. 60 Minute Effort

The Canucks need to put forth a solid 60 minute effort and start to show some dominance in Rogers Arena. The Canucks are getting into a habit of playing to their competition’s level at home and need to get that killer instinct back.

2. D-Core Scoring

John Tortorella encourages the defence to be active in the offensive end. Kevin Bieksa and Jason Garrison, specifically, can really help out the Canucks by chipping in the odd goal here and there. Any offence from the defence will go a long way towards a Canucks win.

3. 1B?

Eddie Lack has been solid as a back-up goalie so far this year and the Canucks need him to continue his stellar play. Home games against Eastern Conference teams are games that just have to be won and Lack needs to continue on his 1B play to ensure this.

Prediction

The Canucks look to be getting a little bit of that Rogers Arena swagger back, but the schedule makers have done everything possible to put the Canucks at a disadvantage vs the Hurricanes Monday night. Despite the Hurricanes being the rested team, the Canucks home mojo will be too much for the ‘Canes to overcome. The Canucks take the Hurricanes 4-1!

Follow Ian Lusher on Twitter at @IanLusher

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