The Blue Jackets face off for the first time this season against Northwest Division leading Vancouver Canucks Wednesday night inside Rodgers Arena. Vancouver have used their special teams to vault them to elite status this year led by the Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel.
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The Canucks (16-8-4) have the NHL’s top rated power play with a 25 percent success rate. Daniel Sedin has racked up eight of his team’s leading 16 goals with the man-advantage. Henrik has been there to dish out 10 assists when their opponent has someone in the sin bin.
The penalty kill for Vancouver is no slouch either as they are ranked sixth in the league with an 85 percent kill rate. Your best penalty killer has to be your goalie and Roberto Luongo (13-8-2) is having another strong year for the Canucks. Luongo has a 2.55 goals against average and a .911 save percentage as Vancouver again seem ready to continue to give the 11 year veteran net-minder heavy amounts of work as he has played 23 of the teams 28 games.
The Blue Jackets (16-11-2) will see some familiar faces on the other side as former Jackets Raffi Torres and Manny Malhotra will line-up against their former team. Both have found success with the Canucks as Torres is tied for the lead on the team with three game winning goals and eight goals in total while Malhotra has five goals, 14 points and again is showing his elite status at the face-off dot winning 63.1 percent of his draws which ranks him second in the NHL in that category.
Columbus is looking to get back to their winning ways and take two points from a team that is ahead of them in the playoff standings. To be able to do that the Jackets will need to do the following: