ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS VS SAN JOSE BARRACUDA SERIES PREVIEW
The Abbotsford Canucks have hit the road this weekend for a quick two-game road trip down to California against the San Jose Barracuda. The two meetings on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon will take place at the new Tech CU Arena, marking Abbotsford’s first visit to the new facility.
The Canucks and Barracuda have faced off twice already this season, with Abbotsford sweeping a home back-to-back with a pair of 6-2 and 6-3 victories back in December. Nils Höglander and Travis Dermott made their AHL debuts in that series, and while Dermott has now rejoined Vancouver, Höglander has enjoyed quite the successful stint thus far in Abbotsford.
The Swedish winger has picked up three goals in his last five games, while averaging three shots a game as well during that stretch. His linemates, Nils Åman and Linus Karlsson, have each registered five points across their five last contests as well (3G and 7A).
“So good … they’re great guys and great hockey players. They create moments every game.” – Canucks forward Vasily Podkolzin on the Höglander-Åman-Karlsson line.
Another line that is currently firing on all cylinders is the Arsh Bains – Chase Wouters – Danila Klimovich line. Combining for 18 points in their last seven games (7G and 11A), the trio have really been clicking at both ends of the ice.
“I think that line has been effective, when they get to the neutral zone they get it in and get on the forecheck. They force a lot of turnovers and have scored some big goals for us.” – Canucks Head Coach Jeremy Colliton prior to Abbotsford’s game on January 6th.
A continued area of success for Abbotsford this season has been their success on the man advantage. The Canucks rank in the top third of the AHL for powerplay percentage, powerplay goals for, and powerplay opportunities. Luckily for Abbotsford’s man advantage unit, San Jose rank second in the league for most times short-handed, as well as sixth for most powerplay goals against.
As for the Barracuda, AHL All-Star Thomas Bordeleau leads San Jose with 17 goals on the season, good enough for the most by a rookie so far this season. His 25 points is tied for fourth most in the league, and sits two points behind third place Linus Karlsson.
Fellow San Jose rookie William Eklund is listed as inactive on TheAHL.com , which would be a big blow to the Barracuda offense. On the back end, Aaron Dell and Eetu Makiniemi have split the season fairly evenly, going 6-7-1 and 6-10-1 respectively.
Saturday's game will be available for viewing on AHLTV for free as part of a league wide Freeview on all games on Saturday January 15th.
Following this weekend’s games, Abbotsford returns home for a five game home stand. Their first opponent will be the Calgary Wranglers, facing off on January 18th, 20th and 21st at the Abbotsford Centre. The following week, the Toronto Marlies come to town for a pair of back-to-back games on Tuesday, January 24th and Wednesday January 25th. All five of those games get underway at 7:00pm.
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