Preview: Canucks Gun for 4 Straight Against Avs

Not since the first four games of the season have the Canucks felt so good about themselves. After winning in Edmonton on Saturday night, Canucks players were reportedly joking around in the locker room about being a “juggernaut.

Let’s be real, these guys are no Columbus Blue Jackets. However, winning three key games, all against divisional rivals, has to have this team brimming with confidence heading into the New Year.

However, there are some warning signs that this streak is unlikely to last. You could argue that the Canucks failed to put a 60-minute effort together against any of their last three opponents.

They sat back against the Kings and were outshot 37-20 in the victory. They looked awful against the Ducks on Friday, until Anaheim started to wear out on the second night of back-to-backs. Their victory against the Oilers might have been the most impressive, but they still relied heavily on Markstrom, who made 44 saves in the victory.

Colorado has had an absolutely disastrous season under first-year head coach Jared Bednar. With the Canucks recent win streak, they are now 12 points clear of the basement in the Western Conference, a place that Colorado unceremoniously holds.

Colorado Avalanche at Vancouver Canucks

Rogers Arena – 7:00 p.m. PST on Monday, January 2

Broadcast channels: SNP, ALT2

2016-17 Season Series: Nov 26 – Vancouver Canucks 3 – Colorado Avalanche 2 (SO)

Colorado Avalanche: 12-23-1  25 Points

Road Record: 8-10-0

Hot Players: Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie 

Key Injuries: Erik Johnson and Semyon Varlamov

Projected lines:


Mikko Rantanen – Matt Duchene – Jarome Iginla

Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan Mackinnon – Rene Bourque

Mikhail Grigorenko – Carl Soderberg – Blake Comeau

Andreas Martinsen – John Mitchell – Cody McLeod


Fedor Tyutin – Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov – Francois Beauchemin

Patrick Wiercioch – Eric Gelinas


Calvin Pickard


Vancouver Canucks: 17-18-3

Home Record: 12-6-2

Hot Players: Bo Horvat, Loui Eriksson

Key Injuries: Jannik Hansen, Erik Gudbranson, Derek Dorsett


Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Jayson Megna

Markus Granlund – Brandon Sutter – Loui Eriksson

Sven Baertschi – Bo Horvat – Anton Rodin

Brendan Gaunce – Michael Chaput – Jack Skille


Alex Edler – Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa – Chris Tanev

Nikita Tryamkin – Ben Hutton

Starting Goaltender

Ryan Miller

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] With Alex Burrows sitting out this contest due to a scratch on his eye, it means that Anton Rodin will draw into the lineup for his second career game. He only logged seven minutes of ice time in his first contest, and Willie Desjardins didn’t have good things to say about his play. Rodin will get a chance to play with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi tonight, who were both fantastic in Vancouver’s last game against Edmonton

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] It’s truly mind boggling how bad the Colorado Avalanche have been this season. It’s been a steady decline for the Avalanche after they finished first overall in the Western Conference back in 2013-14. Their starting to remind me of the Edmonton Oilers. Lots of great young offensive talent, but not enough depth, defensive structure, or solid goaltending to make them a relevant team.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] That being said, the Avalanche have fared marginally better on the road this season than they have at home. They are 8-10-0 on the road, but only have four home wins on the season. Their road record did take a hit in the month of November, where they won only three of 15 games in the month. That included a 10-1 loss in Montreal against the Canadiens on December 10th.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] Vancouver needs stellar goaltending if they expect to compete for a playoff spot heading into the second half of the season. They’ve gotten it over their past three games, with Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom combining to stop 102 of their last 107 shots. Looking towards the future, the Canucks must be looking at giving Markstrom more starts.  Not to take away anything from what Miller has done, but the Canucks need to start looking towards the future. It’s time for the 27-year-old to see what he can do when he starts a slew of games.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap] With the Canucks only three points out of a Wild Card spot, they have a chance to tease fans by sneaking into a playoff spot next five games. After tonight, the Canucks play Arizona, Calgary twice, and Nashville. If they win the majority of those games (or if they steal a few points from Calgary), they may find themselves in a Wild Card position. This really isn’t the best thing for the franchise, who has routinely shown over the season that they aren’t a playoff contender. Nonetheless, they have a legitimate chance to sneak into the top eight in the Western Conference over the next five games.