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Pressure is on against the Blues!



<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/dec2009_blu_rr.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Tonight the Vancouver Canucks face a struggling St. Louis Blues hockey team, currently sitting in 15th place in the Western conference. Many fans would expect this to be an easy win for the Canucks. Our recent track record however, concerns me.

I expect this game to be a hard fought battle, and contrary to popular belief; that this game should be in the bag before the blades even hit the ice, our team has alot to prove in tonights game. The Canucks have dropped seemingly "easy" games to lower ranked teams. These losses to Nashville on Dec. 8, Carolina on Dec. 5, and Anaheim Dec. 15 have been real momentum killers for the Canucks, and if losses like these continue to mount we are sure to be in trouble come the end of the regular season.

The Canucks are, and should be, under alot of pressure for tonight's game. It is crucial that this club finds the capability to tally up wins against the lower half of the league, and until this starts to happen on a regular basis, the Canucks SHOULD be putting themselves under alot of pressure for seemingly "walk in the park" games. In the new NHL every team is a threat. Teams like the Hurricanes, Ducks, and Blues have the skill and ability to win against any team in the NHL.

The Canucks have proven their ability to raise their level of play against top tier teams like the Capitals. The luxury of a low pressure game against a top ranked team seems to fire the team up. They now need to prove that when the role is reversed; that when the pressure is turned onto them against a lower ranked team, that they can continue to step up their game.

Tonight we will learn a lot about the character of this team. Real champions are champions for 60 minutes of a hockey game; not 40. Real champions play like champions against EVERY team in the league, on every night. The Canucks need to prove tonight that their level of play does not fluctuate to the level of their opponent, and that they truly are championship caliber.



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