October 20 2013 01:23PM
In his only start of the season, Eddie Lack kept his team in it until they woke up.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you that this game is going to be anywhere near as entertaining as yesterday's shootout loss to the Penguins. Because it won't. You'll probably recall that the Canucks and Blue Jackets played three times within the span of 18 days during last season's condensed schedule, and mustered up a total of 5 goals scored between them. I love hockey and don't necessarily need a ton of goals to be entertained, but man, that was some dreadfully boring hockey.
It's not alllll bad though. The Canucks have had a very successful start to their 7-game roadtrip, gaining 5 out of a possible 6 points so far. They are also coming off of their most impressive showing of the season. It's an early Sunday afternoon, and this is the second outing of a weekend back-to-back, so let's keep things short and sweet with a quick preview of the game right past the jump.
Puck Drop: 3 PM PST
TV: Rogers Sportsnet Vancouver
Torts on 22-33-17: "Had the puck a lot but didn't generate a lot of offence. We switched it around a bit, but we're going to stay with it."— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) October 19, 2013
The juiced up top line didn't exactly light the world on fire yesterday in Pittsburgh, but considering the fact that they were going up against Sidney Crosby et al, it's understandable. It's nice to see that Tortorella will have some patience with it, and give it a longer look than just a few periods.
That means that we'll see probably see Higgins-Santorelli-Hansen on the 2nd line, with Booth-RIchardson-Kassian, and Sestito-Welsh-Weise rounding things out. There's no official word on the extent of Jordan Schroeder's injury yet, but it doesn't look great right now as he was seen on crutches this morning. What a brutal start to the season for him. It came as somewhat of a surprise that Welsh was the person called up instead of former fellow Carolina Hurricane Zac Dalpe, but whatever. I'd expect he'll only see a couple of minutes of action anyways.
Finally from a Canucks perspective, Eddie Lack gets his 2nd start of the season. He stopped 32 of 36 pucks in his debut a few weeks ago against the Flames, but the .889 save % doesn't do his performance justice. He was easily the best Canuck through the first 45 minutes or so, and was really the only reason they had a chance to make a late comeback (resulting in an overtime winner by Mike Santorelli). The next back-to-back for the Canucks comes very soon - on Thursday/Friday of this coming week - so I'm not sure when his next start will be after this one.
I'd love to tell you what we can expect from the Blue Jackets in terms of lines and combinations, but at this point we really don't know. The Jackets have lost 4 in a row, and coach Todd Richards has suggested that there will be changes for this one. Even if there weren't, they've been juggling like nobody's business all year anyways. I'd assume that there top line will be Cam Atkinson-Brandon Dubinsky-Marian Gaborik, but after that, who knows. I'm actually kind of intrigued by their team because the pieces are all there.. they just haven't put it together yet.
What we do know, though, is that Curtis McElhinney will be in net for this one, giving Sergei Bobrovsky the day off. Here's a fun fact to finish things off: I checked somewhere the spelling of his name somewhere between 4 and 7 times to make sure that I had it down right.
|Fenwick Tied %||54.0%||43.3%|
GAME DAY LINKS
- Tale of the Tape. [via CDC]
- Some Game Day notes. [via Brad Ziemer]
- BeastModo didn't have a great showing in Pittsburgh, but we haven't seen the last of it. [via Ben Kuzma]
Crushing Columbus - You get 5-to-1 odds if you think that the Canucks will score in all 3 periods, and win. I'm not sure I love this bet, personally. Thought with Bobrovsky getting the day off the chances have certainly improved.
Sunday Showdown Between the Pipes - If the Canucks win and the total number of goals scored is under 5.5 you get $3 for every $1 you wager. Obviously if Luongo and Bobrovsky were in net for this one you'd like this bet a lot more, but I could still see a 2-1 or 3-2 game being played between these two.
Be sure to sign up with the Canucks Army promo code "CANUCKSARMY" to receive $25 worth of free bets.
Don't forget to sign up for Streakcred. After a busy Saturday we've got a light day on the schedule today, but I'd still recommend taking the Ducks tonight. They're at home (where they're 4-0 this season), and they're facing a reeling Dallas Stars squad that lost last night to the Kings.