ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS VS COLORADO EAGLES SERIES PREVIEW
For the first time in 348 days, the Abbotsford Canucks prepare to take on the Colorado Eagles in a two game series this weekend. The puck drops at 6:05 pm pst on Friday and Saturday night from Loveland, Colorado.
The two games will certainly be watched closely by those in the Pacific Division, as just one point separates Abbotsford (3rd place with 62 points), Colorado (4th place with 61 points) and the Ontario Reign (5th place with 61 points). Heading into the weekend, 11 of Abbotsford’s final 21 games will be against the Eagles and the Reign.
Abbotsford and Colorado both come into the contest on a two game losing skid, having dropped games against San Jose and Calgary respectively. The Eagles have picked up wins in four of their last eleven contests, with only one coming from playing at home.
Meanwhile the Canucks have notched victories in six of their last nine games amidst a whirl of player signings and other members of the squad being recalled to Vancouver. The team has had some reinforcements as of late with Spencer Martin, Will Lockwood and Phil Di Giuseppe rejoining Abbotsford.
Since rejoining Abbotsford, Spencer Martin has been the go-to man in between the pipes for Jeremy Colliton. As for the Eagles, Justus Annunen and Jonas Johansson have split the crease fairly evenly this year, having played 28 and 23 games respectively. Despite having Annunen be in the top five for goaltender wins in the AHL this season, Colorado are one of just five teams to have not recorded a shutout yet this campaign (Belleville, Cleveland, Colorado, Rockford, Toronto).
Offensively, it has been a very balanced attacking output for Colorado, with Charles Hudon leading the team in goals (17) and points (35). Jean-Luc Foudy leads the squad in assists with 20. Hudon’s 35 points makes the Eagles one of just five teams to not have a player break past the 35-point mark this season, with Chicago, Hartford, Lehigh Valley and Rochester also falling in that category.
As for the Canucks, team leader in assists and points, Christian Wolanin, is currently up in Vancouver having been recalled last week. The active leader in each of those categories is Justin Dowling, with 26 assists and 37 points. Rookie Linus Karlsson leads Abbotsford in goals with 15, while Phil Di Giuseppe, Kyle Rau and Tristen Nielsen all have 13.
The Canucks high flying offence has found the back of the net 175 times this season, good enough for 5th most in the AHL.
On special teams, Colorado ranks amongst the bottom third in the AHL for powerplay goals for (34), powerplay percentage (17.3%), penalty kill percentage (79%), and powerplay goals against (42).
Following their weekend in the Rockies, Abbotsford travels to Ontario for their second meeting with the Reign this season on Wednesday March 1st. Following two more road games in Henderson, the team returns home for a six game home stand starting on March 7th with games against Manitoba, Colorado and Ontario.
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