Vancouver Canucks, Tyler Myers

Canucks NHL Daily: Avoid Special Teams; Injury Plague

Canucks Benchmark?

The Vancouver Canucks have an opportunity on Wednesday to get back to a .500 record on the season and put themselves back in the NHL playoff conversation to whatever extent.

They’ll try to take advantage of this opportunity in San Jose against the Sharks, a team Vancouver beat 4-3 in overtime on November 27th at the Shark Tank. In that game, San Jose went 1-for-1 on the power play, the Canucks 0-for-2.

There’s the key. Stay out of the box. A special teams battle is the one thing the Canucks want to avoid as the Sharks have not been productive at five-on-five, but are way more productive than most visitors in the man advantage and disadvantage departments.

Although only ranked 22nd in the National Hockey League on the power play, the Sharks click 21.1% of the time in the current offensive-minded NHL. That’s a solid number. In a typical year, one wants the power play to be above 20%, the penalty kill above 80%.

The Sharks have the latter covered. They have the best PK in the league at 86.3%.

Meanwhile, the Canucks sit 4th from the bottom of the NHL at 68.8% on the penalty kill. Their power play clicks at an impressive rate of 26.9%, 6th best overall.

Safest bet for Vancouver, stay out of the box, play 5-on-5, and attempt to take advantage of the 8-16-and-4 San Jose Sharks.

Let’s Skate!

The Denver Post reports that Nathan MacKinnon, one of the NHL’s major superstars, who just happens to be a reigning Stanley Cup champion, will apparently miss the next four weeks due to injury.

MacKinnon leaves the line-up with 34 points in 23 games, including 26 assists which shares the NHL lead.

He left in the first period of Monday’s 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. and he appeared to hurt himself while taking a shot. He joins a remarkable growing list of injured Av’s.

“We’re losing a guy a game right now, all impact players for us,” Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said on Tuesday.

Captain Gabriel Landeskog and fellow forward Darren Helm haven’t played this season due to off season surgeries.

Since then defencemen Josh Manson, Cranbrook native Bowen Byram, and Kurtis MacDermid have all gone out, as have forwards Artturi Lehkonen, Jean-Luc Foudy, Valeri Nichushkin, Evan Rodrigues, and Shane Bowers. Lehkonen and Foudy are considered day-to-day.

That could officially be referred to as an injury plague.

The Avalanche host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.

Enjoy the Hockey Action !!

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.