Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Game of the Night (11/9)

The Battle for Canada (at least for tonight) pins the Vancouver Canucks against the Montreal Canadiens. Both teams sport nicknames for their country and a great goalie match-up.

Between the pipes for the Canucks will most likely be Roberto Luongo, who is sporting a .909 save percentage. And for the Canadiens they send out the stellar Carey Price who has risen to the hype that accompanied him into this league. Price has played all but one game for Montreal this year and boasts a 2.45 goals against average.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="430" caption="The Canadiens will be seeing double tonight as Vancouver comes to town."][/caption]

The Sedin twins have been identical indeed as they share the team point title with 16 a piece. Their ability to find each other on the ice keeps them the top threat of the offense and gives them a chance to score every shift. Montreal's Mike Cammalleri has been underwhelming so far this season with only 8 points in 13 games. The Canadiens need Cammalleri to step up if they want to beat the Canucks tonight, as he is their most talented goal scorer.

Vancouver's defense is a little shorthanded as Ryan Parent, Sami Salo and possibly Dan Hamhuis will be sidelined. This helps level the playing field for the Canadiens who have a quiet back end compared to Canucks. Markov leads the Canadiens D and P.K. Subban leads the scoring punch from the back.

Special teams are lopsided in favor of the Canucks, and is the key to the game. The Canucks power play is effectively functioning at just under 30% while the Canadiens are struggling at 6.4%. The Canadiens won't likely fare any better against the Canuck's penalty kill unit that stops 85.4%  of the power play chances they face. If the Canadiens can't finish with a man up, I do not see them winning this game.

My prediction: The Canucks are too talented and prevail but a great game from Carey Price keeps it interesting. 3-1 is my final score of this one.

And your star of the game? Henrik Sedin with his play-making passes.

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