ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS VS SAN DIEGO GULLS GAME PREVIEW
The Abbotsford Canucks continue their five game southern road trip on Wednesday night with a visit to Pechanga Arena to take on the San Diego Gulls.
In the fourth and final game of the season series between the two, the puck drops at 7:00pm pst. Abbotsford leads the season series 2-0-0-1, including a 5-4 victory in a thrilling December matchup in San Diego.
Through those three games, Abbotsford has outshot the Gulls 118 – 72, despite outscoring San Diego by just four goals. Lukas Dostal has carried the load in goal for the Gulls, having faced the second most shots by a single goaltender in the AHL (906). Dostal is tied for the second-most shutouts in the AHL (3), as well as tied for second-most games played with Abbotsford’s Arturs Silovs (30).
Outside of Dostal, it has been a disappointing campaign for the Anaheim Ducks affiliate, sitting in last place in the AHL standings. Their 112 goals for is tied for second fewest in the league, while the 169 goals conceded ranks them in the basement of the standings for that category.
The Gulls also rank amongst the top of the league in terms of most penalty minutes (709). However, their 81.2% on the penalty kill is in the top half of the league, as well as converting six times shorthanded.
As for the Canucks, their 39 powerplay goals ranks them sixth in the AHL, while being short handed the fifth fewest times across the league. Their leading goal scorer and powerplay goal scorer, Lane Pederson, was recently claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets off of waivers following a stint in Vancouver. Linus Karlsson is the current leader of both of those categories, with 14 total goals, and six on the man advantage.
Christian Wolanin is still leading the way in terms of assists (42) and points (46). Wolanin leads all defencemen in assists and points, and sits second and sixth respectively across the AHL. The AHL All-Star is one point away from reaching 100 career AHL points, while Wednesday could also be Danila Klimovich’s 100th game in the AHL.
Rocco Grimaldi is the man to watch for in terms of offensive production for the Gulls. Grimaldi leads the team in goals (17) and points (41), as well as is tied for the team lead in assists (24) with blue liner Nikolas Brouillard.
A name that that deserves some recognition for his play of late is Phil Di Giuseppe, who is averaging over a point per game over his last 11 AHL games (7G and 4A). His run of form got him a call up to Vancouver last week, before returning to Abbotsford. Tristen Nielsen is another member of the team on top form at the moment, averaging a point per game over his last six games (2G and 4A).
Following Wednesday night’s game in San Diego, the team wraps up their five game road trip this weekend in a weekend back to back in San Jose taking on the Barracuda. It will be a 7:00pm pst puck drop from Tech CU Arena on Friday night, before a Saturday afternoon game getting underway at 2:00pm. After the weekend, the team is off for a few days for the All Star Break, which will see Christian Wolanin travel to Laval to join in the festivities, before the team is back in action on February 10th and 11th for a matchup with the Tucson Roadrunners.
The Friday night game is “Celebrating The Sedins” night, honoring Henrik and Daniel Sedin. To purchase tickets to any future Abbotsford Canucks home game, please click HERE.