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NHL
Game Date Matchup/Result Breakdown
1 Wed. April 15, 10pm et Blues 1, Canucks 2 Recap/Highlights | Box
2 Fri. April 17, 10pm et Blues 0, Canucks 3 Recap/Highlights | Box
3 Sun. April 19, 7pm et Canucks 3, Blues 2 Recap/Highlights | Box
4 Tue. April 21, 8pm et Canucks 3, Blues 2 (OT) Recap/Highlights | Box
Canucks win series 4-0
* If Necessary

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Team Page | Roster | Stats

Regular Season Record: 45-27-10, 100 pts
Head-to-Head Record: 2-2-0
Last Stanley Cup Win: None
Last Stanley Cup Final Appearance: 1994
Last Postseason Appearance: 2007
Players with Stanley Cup Rings: None

A reason to cheer for the Canucks: Along with the Calgary Flames, the Canucks present the best opportunity to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada for the first time in 16 years. They have terrific goaltending, a solid, gritty defensive unit and depth at forward. It would also be quite a spectacle to see the reaction of Maple Leafs fans if Mats Sundin captured the Cup after only half a season on the West Coast.
What They Bring To The Table: In Roberto Luongo, the Canucks have one of the top goaltenders in the world. He is ready ready to take the next step in his career and lead a team to the promised land. 'Bobby Lou' is the type of netminder that can single-handedly win a playoff series by himself. He would also like to cement his position with the 2010 Canadian Olympic team by adding a successful post-season run to his resume. As great as Luongo is, the Canucks are far from a one-man show. They have a good balance of puck movers and bangers on the blue line and an extremely quick group of forwards. What they don't have is anyone who has been there before, as not a single player on their roster has hoisted the Stanley Cup. That lack of experience could ultimately cost them in the long run. While several Canucks are enjoying breakout campaigns (Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Alex Edler), few have been tested in the post-season. It will be a real baptism by fire once the puck drops and every single shift is enormous. While the Canucks cannot be completely happy with the return on their investment in Mast Sundin, he is the type of player that raises his game on the biggest stage. This is likely his best and last shot at a championship, look for him to come up big when it means the most. This post-season could also be the defining moment of the Sedin brothers' careers. As they both approach unrestricted free agency, they will need to take their games to a new level if they hope to receive maximum compensation come July 1. An average, or - heaven forbid - poor performance in the playoffs could end up costing the twins millions in potential earnings. The future is now for the Canucks and anything short of a deep playoff run will be seen as a failure.


ST. LOUIS BLUES

Team Page | Roster | Stats

Regular Season Record: 41-31-10, 92 pts
Head-to-Head Record: 2-2-0
Last Stanley Cup Win: None
Last Stanley Cup Final Appearance: 1970
Last Postseason Appearance: 2004
Players with Stanley Cup Rings: Andy McDonald (1), Dan Hinote (1), Manny Legace (1)

A reason to cheer for the Blues: There may be no better story this season than what has occurred in the Gateway City. Heading into the season, most predicted the Blues to battle the Islanders for the league's worst record. When they lost blue chip defenceman Erik Johnson prior to the season to a freak golf cart injury, it appeared that the writing was on the wall - and it only got worse. Veterans Paul Kariya, Eric Brewer and Andy McDonald all missed extended stretches and the team appeared to hit rock bottom when goaltender Manny Legace injured his ankle tripping on a carpet laid out for Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin prior to a game. While the Blues had every reason to play dead, they persevered and got better as the season went on. The fact that they were in a playoff race at all is a minor miracle - everything from here on in is icing on the cake.
What They Bring To The Table: The team has exceeded all expectations by reaching the post-season, so the Blues could be forgiven if they are just happy to be here. That however, is not the team's style. What they lack in skill and star-power they more than make up for with dedication, hard work and team-wide defensive responsibility. The Blues will likely live and die in the post-season on special teams - they own the third best penalty killing percentage at 83.8 percent and a top 10 power play unit, firing at a 20.5 percent clip. While they remain a largely anonymous bunch, there is reason to be excited thanks to the breakout campaigns by their young forwards. Brad Boyes may be one of the best kept secrets in the league, setting a career-high in points while hitting the 30 goal plateau for the second straight season. David Backes, David Perron and rookies Patrik Berglund and T.J. Oshie all offer additional offensive pop, while veterans Keith Tkachuk and Andy McDonald round out a well-balanced attack. Chris Mason has been a revelation in net for St. Louis after taking over the number one position from former All-Star Manny Legace, however Mason lacks Legace's playoff experience. While Mason got his post-season feet wet with the Predators in 2006, Legace captured a Cup with the Wings in 2002. What might be the Blues' ultimate undoing is how hard they had to work to make it in to the 'Big Dance.' With all that energy expended down the stretch, will the young Blues have anything left in the tank when the games mean their most? Even if they get knocked out early, this season has to be considered an enormous success.


 

Statistical keys to the series

- Vancouver ranked 17th in the league on the power play, with an 18.8% success rate. St. Louis ranked 8th at 20.5%.

- Vancouver ranked 16th in the league in penalty killing, with an 81.4% success rate. St. Louis ranked third at 83.8%.

- Steve Bernier (146), Kevin Bieksa (119) and Darcy Hordichuk (112) are the Canucks' leading hitters.

- David Backes (204), Brad Winchester (127) and Barret Jackman (124) are the Blues' leading hitters.

- Kyle Wellwood is the Canucks' top face-off man -- 57.5%.

- Jay McClement is the Blues' top face-off man -- 52.1%.

- Vancouver's Henrik Sedin ranked eighth in the league with 60 assists.

- Vancouver's Willie Mitchell tied for ninth in the league at plus-29.

- St. Louis' Brad Boyes tied for fifth in the league with 16 power play goals.

- Vancouver's Alex Burrows tied for fourth in the league with four shorthanded goals.

- St. Louis's Brad Boyes ranked second in the league with 11 game-winning goals. Vancouver's Henrik Sedin tied for seventh in the league with eight game-winning goals.



- Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin led the Canucks with five points in four games against the Blues this year.

- Patrik Berglund led the Blues with six points in four games against the Canucks this year.

- Vancouver's leaders in power play ice time (per game):
Henrik Sedin 4:01
Daniel Sedin 3:59
Kevin Bieksa 3:53
Pavol Demitra 3:33
Alexander Edler 3:28
Mats Sundin 3:24

- St. Louis's leaders in power play ice time (per game):
Brad Boyes 4:20
Paul Kariya 4:14
Keith Tkachuk 4:10
Andy McDonald 3:54
Carlo Colaiacovo 3:27*
Patrik Berglund 3:14
* Carlo Colaiacovo's totals include time with Toronto.

- Vancouver's leaders in penalty killing ice time (per game):
Willie Mitchell 4:15
Ryan Kesler 3:19
Ryan Johnson 3:13
Ossi Vaananen 3:01*
Alex Burrows 2:57
Sami Salo 2:49
* Ossi Vaananen's totals include time with Philadelphia.

- St. Louis's leaders in penalty killing ice time (per game):
Barret Jackman 4:23
Jay McClement 3:50
Jay McKee 3:18
Roman Polak 2:57
Mike Weaver 2:53
Dan Hinote 2:32



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