Bulls Go For Third Straight Win Against Struggling Utah: Game Preview


San Francisco Bulls v Utah Grizzlies, November 17, 2012 – Photo courtesy of the Utah Grizzlies web page – utahgrizzlies.com

The Bulls return to action as they try to extend their winning streak to three with a win over the Utah Grizzlies. The Bulls (23-34-7) sit six points ahead of Bakersfield for the final spot in the playoffs, while Utah (25-29-11) are eight points ahead of the Bulls for the seventh seed. The Bulls are rolling on an impressive two game stretch in which they are outscoring their opponents 11 to three as the offensive has been clicking. The Grizzlies have struggled recently as they have only won three of the nine games they have played since facing San Francisco. The Bulls are 1-4 against the Grizzlies on the season.

The Bulls have looked really strong recently. They snapped a five game losing streak by beating Las Vegas four to one and then followed it up with a second straight win with a seven to two victory over Stockton. Peter Sivak has five points in the last two games with two goals and three assists as he continues to lead the team in points and goals. Christian Ouellet has played with fours points in the two games as he added a goal and three assists. Also making an impact is newly added Tommy Grant. Grant had an impressive debut on Wednesday when he had a three point night with a goal and two assists. Grant could become key with the Bulls late playoff push if he is able to spark the other skill players on the offense. Taylor Nelson has been stout over his last two starts with 54 saves on 57 shots against, which include a 38 save night on Wednesday. After going one for their last the 35 on the power play, the Bulls are two for four over the last two games.

The Grizzlies have struggled as they try to maintain their lead over the Bulls for the seventh seed. They have ran into a bit of bad luck as four of their last six losses have come in overtime or the shoot out. The main problem is the Grizzlies lack a solid goalie with their main starter Adam Morrison to be called up to Providence of the AHL. It has lead to them signing Ben Meisner to an amateur try-out contract. Meisner played solidly against Bakersfield with 66 saves on 70 shots over the two game series as the Grizzlies dropped both games in the shoot out. The Utah offense has not been particularly strong recently with seven goals in their last three games. They have been led Gaelan Patterson and Adam Estoclet both have eight points in their last ten games.

The Bulls need to take advantage of the vulnerable goalie situation in Utah. They should be able to capitalize with the way the offense has been flowing as of late. Taylor with need to hold the Grizzlies to at least two goals or fewer for the Bulls to come away with a victory in the contest as they should be able to put up at least three on the rookie net minder.