Sunday, November 13, 2005

GameDay: @ Vancouver (10-5-2, 22 Pts) 10:00 ET

Tonight is the second of four meetings between these two teams this season. The Canucks were the first team to beat the Wings this year, winning 4-2 on October 10th at the Joe.

The Wings are unbeaten in their last 3, with wins over St. Louis, LA and Minnesota. They have gone 12-1-1 since losing to the Canucks on the 10th and will have their first chance at revenge tonight. Detroit is unbeaten in their last three games, a span in which they have beaten St. Louis, LA and, most recently, Minnesota. Their win over the Wild on Friday night was one of their most impressive defensive displays all season and indicates they should be on the right track for facing better opponents. The Wings are unbeaten on the road this season and have won 10 in a row away from home, dating back to the last three games of the 03-04 season. It's a franchise record and is worth a lot for a team hoping to go the distance when it counts: the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Canucks' win over the Wings on the 10th kicked off a 7-1 run that vaulted the team to the upper reaches of the league. More recently, however, they have gone 2-4-1, winning just a game against the Wild and Blue Jackets and losing to the Avs and Flames, who have made up 5 of their last 7 games. Vancouver has lost their last three but are 7-1-0 at home. That one loss, however, came in their most recent game, a 5-3 decision with the Avs.

Manny Legace will be in net for the Wings and Dan Cloutier should be for the Canucks.

Expect a good game tonight. The Wings have the momentum but the Canucks, coming off a loss to a division rival, will be looking to derail someone and another win over Detroit would be just the thing they need to get back on track. If the Wings play as tight defensively as they did Friday night and as opportunistically offensively, they should do well. Manny Legace will have to be on his "A" game against a strong Canucks offense and that may be the key. The Wings failed this test last time and need to make a better showing this round or else those wins against lesser teams really are just padding.


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