Vancouver Canucks: Week 4 Preview and Predictions
After a three-day break, the Vancouver Canucks will try to snap a five-game losing streak in eastern Canada. The Canuck Way previews and predicts Week 4.
The Vancouver Canucks enter November with a record above .500. Not that you’d know it.
If only they’d had the good sense to alternate their wins and losses, no one would have noticed. But no, they had to go win four in a row, then lose five in a row. We all got our hopes up, and now we’re lost in a pit of despair.
Thanks a lot, Canucks!
The irony of this rollercoaster is that the team is right where it probably should be: a .500 team, plus or minus a few games.
It might seem like Vancouver will never score enough goals to win ever again. Yet the losing streak will eventually end. Loui Eriksson and Sven Baertschi will eventually score. So will the Canucks’ powerplay.
Don’t panic. Not just yet.
This week, the team starts the first half of a six-game eastern road trip. These three games have distinct poutine flavor with a faint hint of maple syrup — all of them are against Canadian opponents.
Can the ice-cold Canucks find a win this week? Let’s take a look at the games.
Wednesday, Nov. 2: Canucks @ Montreal Canadiens
Remember when the Montreal Canadiens made the worst trade ever?
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Montreal is 8-0-1, which is tops in the NHL. Weber, a B.C. native, leads them in scoring with four goals and 10 points in nine games. Fellow British Columbian Carey Price has retaken his place as the best goaltender in the world, with a 1.40 goals-against average and a .954 save percentage.
This game will be the 10th of the season for the Canadiens. Last season, they also played their 10th of the year versus Vancouver. The Canucks snapped their nine-game winning streak with a resounding 5-1 victory.
The Montreal Canadiens haven’t forgotten.
The Canadiens are the top team in the NHL right now. The Canucks are quite possibly the worst.
Whether by design or by accident, Vancouver will occasionally win a game they aren’t supposed to win. Last season the Canucks ended a Canadiens win streak, so why not this year?
Like Janik said, Montreal is the best team in the league right now and they have the best goalie in the league. I have a slight bit of hope the Canucks will be able to get a dirty goal on Price, but that’s probably not very likely.
The hidden upside of sliding, inevitably, towards the bottom of the standings is teams will start to play their backups against the Canucks. Vancouver takes advantage of Al Montoya and wins.
Thursday, Nov. 3: Canucks @ Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson had an intense week.
To start out, he posted a shutout against the Canucks. Soon after the 35-year-old received the devastating news that his wife had cancer. The Sens granted him a personal leave, but with some time between his wife’s medical tests he has rejoined the team for now. He earned another shutout in an emotional win versus the Edmonton Oilers:
Anderson is still with the team, but his availability may change from day-to-day. Andrew Hammond is injured and will be out for this week. Ottawa’s other two goaltenders, Matt O’Connor and Chris Driedger, are both currently with the team.
It’s an emotional time for the Senators. For the Canucks, it is the second game of a back-to-back, and a chance for revenge against a team that shut them out last week.
Yes, this is happening again. Except this time the Canucks score twice.
Everyone else is picking Vancouver to lose, so what the hell? I’ll say they pull off the win. In overtime, though; let’s not go overboard.
I predicted Vancouver would win the last game and they lost, so maybe if I predict Ottawa to win, the Canucks will win? They’ll need to win a game eventually and this might be a decent chance.
I’m not making a joke here at all. Craig Anderson has returned to the team after learning of his wife’s diagnosis. There is no way Ottawa loses this game. Vancouver might not get a shot through to the net.
Saturday, Nov 5: Canucks @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Frederik Andersen was supposed to solidify the goaltending for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That’s still, shall we say, a work in progress?
The former Ducks netminder had the second-worst October by any Leafs goalie since 1991.
That’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s one thing to have a bad month. To have a bad month by Leafs goalie standards? Ouch.
Things are rosier elsewhere in Toronto’s roster. William Nylander leads the team in points and was named rookie of the month. Nylander, or as he is known in Vancouver, “that guy who is not Jake Virtanen“.
Oh, and someone named Auston Matthews scored four goals in his first game? Maybe you didn’t hear about that…
Even the Leafs win against Vancouver. In related news, bye bye Willie D.
I predicted two Canucks wins already, and they have to lose sometime.
On the one hand, the Canucks have problems with fast teams, and the Leafs are fast. On the other hand, they have a chance against a team that gives the puck away, which the Leafs do. And facing a Toronto goaltender means the offense has to put up some goals right?
I’ll say Vancouver will get three, but the Leafs will prevail in what may be an exciting hockey game.
The only interest I have in this game is the William Nylander vs. Jake Virtanen storyline that is kind of building lately. Nylander wins this round with a multi-goal performance but I won’t say he gets the hat trick because I’m not that evil.
Toronto scores a lot and can’t hold a lead. Vancouver likes to give up leads and come back late. Both teams are questionable defensively. This is going to be an old-fashioned 1980s style shootout.
And yes, of course I’m wrong. I’m still willing the universe to give me points in my hockey pools. You know, I’m beginning to think that ‘The Secret’ might not be the best way to run my life.