Running on Empty: Canucks & Oilers

Yankee Canuck
November 02 2010 06:41PM

Vancouver Canucks @ Edmonton Oilers

6:00 PM PST

Devils   Canucks
3 Wins 5
4 Losses 3
2 OTL 2
3.11 (6th) Goals/Game 2.70 (18th)
3.44 (28th) Goals Against/Game 2.20 (3rd)
16.3% (16th) PP 21% (9th)
70.4% (29th) PK 84.6% (13th)

What To Watch For

> Baby steps: After ten games, Alex Burrows (Vancouver's leading goal scorer last season) returns to action tonight. The Sedins had temporary fill-in's from Samuelsson, Hansen and Tambellini (who was sent to Manitoba this morning) but Burrows reclaims his role on the top line that - after last season - was the most productive trio in team history. The Tambellini demotion also means Vigneault is content with his bottom six, so only the Salo and Hamhuis injuries are keeping Vancouver from 100%. Meanwhile all eyes will be on Burrows to see what rust (if any) he exhibits and how quickly he can gel with the twins again.

> Speed kills: Vancouver hasn't started any games yet with a notable "jump", including last night which was their first game in a week up against a very tired New Jersey squad. The Oilers have plenty of speedy rookies and - if the preseason is any indication - could cause havoc for the Canucks defense, especially one where Andrew Alberts is suddenly seeing top pairing minutes and Ballard is still getting back to pace.

> Technically speaking...: The Canucks played the worst team in the league last night. The Oilers are tied for second worst and are in the cellar of the West. It's not often you get back to back games against the doormats of the league. Of course all of this doesn't mean a damn thing. Despite their rap sheet Edmonton has been a decent team, their goalie appears healed (and mostly sober) and they are scoring with greater ease than Vancouver. How Luongo and crew respond on one night's rest will be vital to getting themselves back on top of the division and putting some distance between themselves and the other NW teams.

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The Yank has been blogging about Vancouver since 2005 and is a founding manager of the Nucks Misconduct community. Occasionally he pops up on canucks.com. Frequently there is whiskey in his hand. Feel free to yell at him over email or Twitter.
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