Preview: Canucks vs Blues 2009

| Jamie Fitzgerald

Records

Vancouver (3): 45-27-10 (100 pts) Home: 24-12-5 Away: 21-15-5
St. Louis (6): 41-31-10 (92 pts) Home: 23-13-5 Away: 18-18-5

Head-to-Head

Jan 9, 2009 – VAN 4 STL 6
Feb 10, 2009 – VAN 6 STL 4
Mar 19, 2009 – VAN 3 STL 0
Mar 26, 2009 – VAN 2 STL 4
Season series was tied 2-2.

Fights

Feb 10, 2009 – Kevin Bieksa vs Dan Hinote

Lineup

Goaltending: EDGE Vancouver
Scoring: EDGE Vancouver
Defense: EDGE Vancouver
Coaching: DRAW
Grit: EDGE St. Louis

Schedule

Wednesday, April 15, 10:00 p.m. (CBC, VERSUS)
Friday, April 17, 10:00 p.m. (CBC, VERSUS)
Sunday, April 19, 7:00 p.m. (CBC, VERSUS)
Tuesday, April 21, 8:00 p.m. (CBC, VERSUS)
*Friday, April 24, 10:00 p.m. (CBC, VERSUS)
*Sunday, April 26, 8:00 p.m. (CBC, VERSUS)
*Tuesday, April 28, TBD (CBC, VERSUS)

Prediction

On paper, this looks like a breeze for Vancouver, but the reality is that this a series boasting the two hottest teams since February. Vancouver’s 23-7-2 record got them an unlikely Northwest Division Title and St. Louis went from dead last in the conference to a 6th place finish with a 21-7-6 run. My brain says Vancouver will take it with Roberto Luongo being the difference-maker, but the heart wants this Cinderella story to continue.

John’s Pick

Here are two of the hottest teams in the league following the All-Star break going at it in a very intriguing first round matchup. The Blues and their young squad might be the sexy upset pick in the quarterfinals, and I’m going to go with them. Chris Mason has been dreadful in the playoffs in the past, but his play over the last 10-15 games has been sensational. Couple that with the fact that St. Louis has a clear edge in regards to special teams, and I think the Blues might be able to escape with a razor-close series win. Blues in 7.

David’s Pick

If both teams continue playing well, this could be the most fun series of the first round. Vancouver has more experience, more depth and a goaltending stud. If the Blues want to win, they need to play to their strength: youth. St. Louis needs to be fast, explosive, and wear out the Canucks best they can. Canucks should take this in 6, but overtime games could swing the series in the Blues favor.