The combination of the Canucks 5-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche and the Kraken’s 7-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night sets up an interesting Seattle/Vancouver rematch on Friday night at Climate Pledge Arena.
The apparent late-blooming Kraken will look to creep to within four points of the Canucks in the Pacific Division if they can pull off their fourth consecutive win against their northern neighbours. Seattle beat Vancouver at Rogers Arena 4-3 this past Saturday night.
While Seattle has gone 3-0-and-2 in its last five games, the Canucks have gone 2-and-3 while giving up an average of 3.6 goals per game. (2 empty netters)
The Avalanche, the best 3rd period team in the NHL with a plus-16 goal differential, scored three unanswered.
Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said his team “emptied the tank” in the hard fought game in Denver.
“These are the types of games that are going to happen the rest of the year,” he said postgame Wednesday. “This is where you’ve got to make sure your details, stopping in the slot defensively, things like that, we’ve gotta keep working on.”
Have the Canucks benefited from a lighter schedule than most early in the season? The St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars were the only plus-.500 teams at the time Vancouver knocked them off.
“I don’t want to take away anything from anything that they’ve done, but that’s the only two teams above .500 that they’ve beaten, and Florida at the time was under .500,” said former Vancouver head coach Bruce Boudreau on his podcast. “I think it’s important for them, for their psyche, to come out … last couple of years they’ve had a really good record against Colorado, so I anticipate them playing very well. But I think it’s important for their psyche to come out and start beating these so-called better teams in the league.”
It didn’t happen Wednesday.
At the same time, although with a handful less wins, the Kraken have knocked off the Red Wings, Lightning, Avalanche and Canucks on the road and the Hurricanes at home. Seattle has already collected five “loser points” for defeats that occurred in OT or a shoot-out.
After what should be a dandy on Friday night two hours down the highway, the Canucks head to San Jose the very next night to take on the Sharks, the NHL’s worst team. It’ll be Vancouver’s 3rd head-to-head match-up vs the cellar dwellars this month.
The club then returns home next week to take on the improving Anaheim Ducks and the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights.
Canucks Of Interest:
— The Hugeness Of The Canucks Bo Horvat Trade
— Canucks Improve With Hronek Acquisition (from March)
— The New Podcast from Wednesday. Rare mid-week …