I hate the term 'statement game' but it really applies here I think. We need a solid 60 minute effort and at least a point tonight to really bust out of this slump. A win would put us back at .500 and in good position to start regaining some of the ground we lost. Edmonton is in a bit of a spiral down as well. They've lost two in a row after a good start, and will also be looking to get back on track.
Horcoff, Luongo and The Sedins are the X-factors for me tonight. Horcoff always seems to play well against us, and if we don't shut him down (along with Hemsky, Penner, Cole and Gagner) we're in for a rough night. If we can come out early and check his line into oblivion, perhaps they'll get discouraged and start trying to goon it up (one of the few things I give us the edge in). Plus we always preform better in rough games.
Luongo (yet again) needs a solid rebound game. Columbus was better, but he was once again outplayed by his counterpart at the other end of the rink. He just has to get back to dominating or we're toast. As for the Sedins, man are those guys in a slump. I've felt they've had some chances the last couple games (Bernier was robbed at least twice by Leclaire), but when they're on they're capable of making sure that puck goes into the net. They're not cycling as well as they should, and they're trying strange plays off the rush which really doesn't suit their style. Bernier seems unsure what to do half the time because Daniel and Henrik are trying so many things at once.
All in all should be a good game. Both teams trying to make amends after some bad losses, and a history of rough games should make for some entertaining hockey.
I say 3-1 Nucks. Bieksa with a goal and an assist (he's starting to look like the 06/07 version we all know and love), Daniel with a goal and Hansen with the other. Henrik will have two assists. Pouliot will reply for the Oilers.