The Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators: An Easy Pick
The Vancouver Canucks vs. the Ottawa Senators
You have got to be kidding me, this sort of matchup shouldn’t even exist or at least a winner should be declared based on such huge differences in performance. This would have been my statement if this were a game of golf, but this is the NHL and the unexpected
should always be taken on board when previewing a game.
But we can still talk facts and figures leading to a result based on them if you’re putting your money on it.
Let’s look at the standings
Vancouver has undoubtedly become the best team of the NHL this season, currently having the longest winning streak of 5 games, there’s nothing that can stop them now. They are thirsty for the Stanley Cup (maybe because they have never won it) and they’ll
annihilate any team that stands in their way, be it a Canadian one. Leading the Western Conference with 77 points, they are ahead of the Eastern Conference leaders the Philadelphia Flyers.
They have a strong 18-3-5 and 16-7-4 record at home and away respectively, and 6-1-3 in their last 10 games.
Ottawa has been sluggish and disappointing this whole season; not doing any better than the Edmonton Oilers really lowers the chances of Canada bringing home the cup this time. A losing streak of 9 consecutive games in and out of the All-Star Break, 9-15-4
home and 8-13-4 away record and 1-7-2 in their last 10 showdowns has really undermined their chances of clinching even a playoffs spot this season. Senator fans should not be ready to expect anything too high from this team.
The Canucks have formed great team chemistry with each other; Ryan Kesler, the Sedin twins and goalie Roberto Luongo are four players who have taken Vancouver to new heights. Kesler has been putting up great numbers all season and being an American, it looks
as if he isn’t playing for the country but for himself and his team-mates. The Sedins are the twin-engines of the Canucks, playing in strategic harmony while Luongo is there to cover them in case something goes wrong; he has become such an experienced goalie
letting only 5 through to the net in the last 121 attempts.
It is the exact opposite situation for the Senators, having lost a number of players to injuries. Defenseman Matt Carkner has been out for his second game, while key goalie Pascal Leclaire has been out for 18 games now. "We need better goaltending," Senators
coach, Cory Closton, told the Ottawa Citizen about how poor defending and goalkeeping has affected his team’s performance. "I don't know how else to say it. We need saves early on. We shouldn't have come out of the (first) period tied 3-3. At least a one-
or two-goal lead for sure."
They were only able to win against one of the lowest ranking teams, the New York Islanders in their past 10 matches 6-4.
What can we look forward to?
It would take a miracle for the Senators to win over the Canucks, as Vancouver is on fire at the moment. They have only lost 10 games in regulation while playing one of their best seasons yet. Ottawa should rejuvenate themselves by studying the game more
and not reach for the sky this season, as there are fewer than 28 games left. Vancouver defeated them 6-2 in their first confrontation in November and this will be the second and final matchup between the two teams this season.