It seemed just about everybody expected the Canucks to dominate the Blue Jackets on Friday in the first game of their seven-game road trip and Vancouver certainly delivered. After holding a slim one-goal advantage heading into the final frame, thanks in large part to yet another stellar performance by netminder Ryan Miller, the Canucks finally blew the game wide open in the third period scoring four unanswered goals en route to a convincing 5-0 win. The pundits probably won't be predicting another blowout win today but they ought to figure the Canucks will have a good chance of snapping their two-game losing streak versus Detroit after dropping both games they played against them last season. Only one Canuck – Daniel Sedin – managed to score in the season series against the Red Wings.
The Red Wings may have an aging veteran core but they're a team that can still hurt you on the scoreboard. Detroit, riding a season-high three-game win streak after overcoming a 4-1 deficit on Friday to knock off New Jersey 5-4 in a shootout, are among the top scoring teams in the league and they've been enjoying an offence by committee with seven players having recorded five-or-more goals and nine players with double-digit point totals. It should make for an intriguing match-up, then, with Red Wings' high-powered offence going up against the stingy Miller, who is coming off back-to-back shutouts and has not allowed a goal in 152:05 of consecutive playing time. Jimmy Howard is expected to get the start for Detroit.
Puck drop at 11 am PT – Live on CITY, TSN 1040, or online at tsn1040.ca.
Regular Season Record
2014.15 Season Series
Keys to the Game
Defend, defend, defend. It may not make for the most aesthetically-pleasing hockey, but the Canucks don't want this game to turn into a track meet. The Red Wings are a perfect 11-0 when they score four-or-more goals in a game while only giving away points on two occasions in those outings. When they score three-or-fewer, they are just 2-5-5.
Play physical early. These late morning/early afternoon games can sometimes be hard to get up for. One way to combat the early cobwebs would be to get engaged physically. Vancouver will be looking to the likes of Luca Sbisa and Derek Dorsett to set the tone on that front.
Get in Miller's head. The way Ryan Miller has been playing lately, he looks unstoppable. That being said, the Red Wings have traditionally had success against him. Miller is just 2-9-2 in his career versus Detroit and hasn't beaten them in over five years (six straight losses). If they can a couple past him early, it might be enough to rattle his confidence.
By the Numbers
All-time Win percentage for the Canucks when playing on Grey Cup championship day (5-7-4).
All-time win percentage for the CFL West Division team in the Grey Cup when the Canucks win the same day (3 of 5).
Straight losses for the Canucks at the Joe Louis Arena dating back to February 24, 2013.
Year age difference between Ryan Miller (34) and his brother, Detroit forward Drew Miller (30).
Straight wins for the Canucks against Eastern Conference teams (6-1-0 this season vs. East).
Wins for the Red Wings, regular season and playoffs, since 1995.96 – most in the NHL.