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Canucks Game Day: Avalanche warning on the road ahead

Vancouver Canucks (6-10-3, seventh in Pacific) at Colorado Avalanche (11-5-1, 2nd in Central)

Wednesday, 7 p.m., Ball Area.

TV: Sportsnet. Radio: Sportsnet 650.

You are reading: Canucks Game Day: Avalanche warning on the road ahead

DENVER — The Canucks start a three-game highway journey Wednesday in Colorado.

As has been famous many occasions on these pages, American Thanksgiving is a conventional benchmark for figuring out playoff odds. About three-quarters of the groups in a playoff place on the American feast will nonetheless be in a playoff place on the finish of the common season.

The Canucks are simply 5 factors again of Calgary and Edmonton, who’re tied for the fourth and closing playoff spot within the Pacific Division. If the fifth-placed staff within the Central Division finally ends up with extra factors than the fourth-placed staff within the Pacific — or vice versa — then they take over the spot; the Blues and Predators are at present tied for fourth within the Central, additionally with 20 factors.

Backside line is the Canucks want to tug off two wins on this highway journey, both Wednesday in opposition to Colorado, Saturday in Vegas or Sunday in San Jose.

And even then the Canucks will nonetheless be behind the eight ball.

Colorado Avalanche mascot Bernie flies an AVS WIN flag after the game against the Nashville Predators at Ball Arena in early November.
Colorado Avalanche mascot Bernie flies an AVS WIN flag after the sport in opposition to the Nashville Predators at Ball Area in early November.Photograph by Isaiah J. Downing /USA TODAY Sports activities

Stanley Cup champs

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There’s been no hangover from final season’s Stanley Cup victory for Colorado.

They’ve gained seven of their final 10 video games.

They’re neatly within the combine to win the division once more.

They usually’re doing all this with out captain Gabriel Landeskog, who’s recovering from hand surgical procedure, and defencemen Sam Girard and Bowen Byram, who’re out with undisclosed accidents.

Nathan MacKinnon stays an omnipresent power. Cale Makar is the defending Norris Trophy winner.

And Mikko Rantanen is essentially the most expert energy ahead within the recreation.

The champs play heavy and quick.

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“I’d quite play a junior staff,” Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau stated Tuesday of the problem his staff faces.

Entrance of the online

The Canucks are far too meek in entrance of the crease.

“We practise defending every single day. You guys are up there, you see it, that’s all we… we don’t work on an excessive amount of offence. We’re scoring sufficient objectives however we work on defending. However clearly it nonetheless wants extra work,” Boudreau stated after Monday’s 5-4 loss to Vegas, the place the Canucks blew one more multi-goal lead within the third interval, this time as a result of they left Vegas attackers comparatively unchallenged on high of Thatcher Demko’s crease.

Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko, right, stops Vegas Golden Knights’ Jonathan Marchessault during the first period on Monday night.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko, proper, stops Vegas Golden Knights’ Jonathan Marchessault throughout the first interval on Monday night time.Photograph by DARRYL DYCK Darryl Dyck /THE CANADIAN PRESS

Stand in your head

Demko had his finest recreation of the season Friday vs. Los Angeles as a result of the Canucks did an admirable job holding the slot underneath management, stopping cross-ice passes to provide Demko an opportunity on most photographs.

However he can solely accomplish that a lot if the Canucks aren’t clearing the crease, which they didn’t do vs. Vegas.

And no quantity of acrobatics will save the Canucks in the event that they’re freely giving grade-A possibilities in opposition to high groups like Vegas or Colorado.

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