Well the boys are 1-0-2 on this trip so far after the game in Anaheim and have basically no travel to the game at Staples on Tuesday night. After the LA game comes the most important stretch of the season to my mind:
Minnesota - 3 games
Calgary - 2 games
Vancouver - 2 games
If they go 5 for 7 in this stretch then they put a big dent in 2 teams they are fighting for playoff position with (Calgary and Minny). Go hard in LA and then buckle down for a major NW division battle in the back end of December.
would especially be great if we could actually beat vancouver. after last years losses especially at home(naslunds four goals), payback would be nice. three hard working teams, the oilers had better have their a game going.
Im pretty scared about how naslund bertuzzi and jovanovski are going to manhandle our penalty kill. I better start praying now that we dont take any penalties. I recalle a 6-3 loss last year that really sent this team on a downward spiral and naslund with 4 goals, at least a couple on the power play.
nasty nasty thoughts.
I remember someone saying "every streak starts before you see the results". Well if the last 3 games are anything to go by, this team is catching form and at the best possible time. Calgary fans are full of their team now, and deservedly so, however end of the year counts and nothing else. I feel a good streak coming for the Oilers.
Wow...they're currently ranked 18th at a 15% clip. What the heck's going on there? I would've thought they would be much higher than that.
Well, I'm going to say it's three things.
#1 - Puck luck has not been very good in the last 4 weeks for the Canucks in general, most of all on the power play. Ce la vie, mind you.
#2 - There is not nearly enough urgency. Crawford used to play a PP unit of: Morrison/Bertuzzi/Naslund, Salo/Jovanovski - however, Bertuzzi and Morrison in particular look to pass way too often. So Crawford mixed it up with Linden, and removed Salo, and played it like this: Linden/Bertuzzi/Naslund, Morrison/Jovanovski. It seems to be gelling.. slowly... but getting chances and not scoring still isn't helping matters.
#3 - The Canucks have yet to play a lot of weak teams. It bothers me when I look at the Wings schedule and see them play the Ducks, Caps, Penguins, Oilers (sorry, well, they were pretty weak that game at least), etc.. every other game, whereas the Canucks have played the Pens and that's about it for weak teams lately (oh, and the Canes, but nobody can score against the Canes anyways). I think the Canucks have run into real good defensive teams or teams that have real good goaltending way too often lately. Looking ahead on the schedule, there will be an easier go of it basically from now on until late January. I expect the 'Nucks to improve their power play drastically from January 1st onward, if not now.
I would say that one small other thing is that Crawford doesn't play the second power play unit enough. The Sedin line has been real dangerous on the power play (and 5 on 5 the last couple games too), but haven't been putting the puck into the net. I attribute this to them only getting the tail end of the power play, usually about 30 seconds left in it, and not having enough time to work with it. I'd like to see maybe Henrik used more on the 1st power play unit too (this has been happening recently), as he shows very good chemistry with Naslund.