Game 68: Canucks at Jets (3.12.14)
It'd be nice to think that after a debacle like Monday's 7-4 loss to the Islanders that there's nowhere but up for the Canucks to go. But, then again, this season the Canucks seem to have a way of sinking to new lows just when you think things can't get worse. Somehow the Canucks will have to find a way to get over their embarrassing effort from two nights and try and stay in the playoff race by knocking off a Jets team that they find themselves currently tied in the standings with.
The Jets are the midst of their worst slump since Paul Maurice took over as head coach back in mid-January as they enter play tonight riding a four-game winless streak, most recently dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to the Avalanche on Monday. Winnipeg is looking to avoid equaling their losing streak of the season tonight. They had previously dropped five in a row from January 2 to 11 – a losing streak that prompted the firing or Claude Noel and the hiring of Maurice. This is the third and final meeting between the Canucks and Jets this season and the rubber match of the season series as both teams have earned a win over the other through the first two games. The Jets beat the Canucks 4-3 in their most recent meeting on January 31 at the MTS Centre. Eddie Lack will get his eighth consecutive start for Vancouver while Zack Kassian will serve the third and final game of his NHL suspension.
Puck drop at 4:30 pm PT - Live on TSN, The TEAM 1040, or online at teamradio.ca.
Keys to the Game
Build on Monday's goals. If there was any positive to glean from Monday's ugly loss, it was that the Canucks found their goal-scoring touch to a degree putting up four goals for the first time since January 26. The Jets won't be as bad defensively as the Isles were but hopefully the Canucks can still find a way to keep their offence going.
Respond the right way. Giving up one goal should not make you feel like you've lost complete control, especially in a game where you still have a lead. Chances are the Canucks will surrender a few goals tonight. They just can't sag the way they did on Monday if they do.
Shut the door. The Jets got themselves back into the playoff race thanks in large part to the play of their goaltenders but they've slipped a bit in recent outings allowing 14 goals in their last four outings. Whether it's Pavelec or Montoya in the pipes tonight, they need their goalie to step up and steal one for them.
By the Numbers
Road win percentage for the Canucks in 2014 (1-11-1).
Win percentage for the Jets since Paul Maurice took over as coach (11-5-3).
Straight road losses for the Canucks entering tonight's game.
Times the Canucks have been shorthanded over their last three games.
One-goal games the Jets have been involved in this season. Only the Flames and Devils have been involved in more.
The year the Canucks last won a game in Winnipeg.