Bulls Try To Snap Six Game Losing Streak In Last Meeting With Las Vegas: Game Preview


San Francisco Bulls v Las Vegas Wranglers February 6, 2013 – Photo courtesy of Mike Tkacheff via the San Francisco Bulls Web Page – SFBulls.com

The Bulls wrap up their weekend with a Sunday matinee against the Las Vegas Wranglers as they try to snap out of their five game losing streak. The Bulls (21-34-7) sit six points ahead of Bakersfield for the final playoff slot, the Wranglers (31-26-5) have already clinched a spot in the playoffs. They have lost six straight games, with the most recent coming last night as they got embarrassed by the Alaska Aces six to two. Las Vegas has been average as they have won three of their last six games and are coming off of a three to two win over Stockton last night. This is the final time these two meet during the season and the Bulls are 1-3-1 against the Wranglers during the season.

The Bulls have struggled offensively during their current losing streak, particularly on the power play. The Bulls are in current one for 35 stretch with the man advantage, which is a 2.8 percent conversion rate. The Bulls have dropped from a top five power play unit from over twenty percent to outside the top 10 with 18.1 percent. Yanni Gourde has been the Bulls best offensive player recently with six points in seven game. His six game point streak was snapped last night. Taylor Nelson has been below average ever since Thomas Heemskerk was recalled to San Jose. He has stopped 51 of 60 shots in his last two starts for nine goals against and an 85 percent save percentage. The Bulls will need to get better goal tending from Nelson, especially with the offense in its current funk.

Las Vegas has won one of its last three games since beating San Francisco. They have been out scored by opponents 10 to six during the stretch. Judd Blackwater has five points in his last two games. Chris Francis and Andrew Sarauer hav been playing well with seven points each in their last five games. The Wranglers goalies have struggled as of late. Mitch O’Keefe has been the worst of the two with just 36 saves on 45 shots for nine goals against and an 80 percent save percentage in his last two starts. The Wrangler other goalie Joe Fallon has fared a little better with 79 saves on 87 shots over his last three starts.

The Bulls need to find a way to spark the power play. They have the offensive talent, they just need to find a way to make that talent gel and become a dangerous unit. The special teams battle will be important tonight as that could be the way for both teams to take advantage of the struggling goalies.