The Vancouver Canucks play the second half of back-to-back home games as they host the Edmonton Oilers at GM Place tonight. The Oilers and Canucks meet for the second time in a week, and the Canucks look to avenge a 2-1 away loss.
The Canucks, though, face a tough challenge as their injury list is growing rapidly, but they should get one big shot in the arm as their defense gets bolstered by a veteran new-comer.
Mathieu Schneider figures to play in his first game of the season and his first game in a Canucks sweater after officially coming off LTIR. Schneider’s return is tempered by a growing list of injuries that might hamper the Canucks. Daniel Sedin, Pavol Demitra, Sami Salo, Rick Rypien, Jannik Hansen and now Kyle Wellwood are all out of the lineup with various ailments. Mike Gillis has now recalled Sergei Shirokov to fill in for the inujured Wellwood.
Luckily for Vancouver, the defence is in mostly tact and should be buoyed by the inclusion of Schneider into the rotation. This should mean that Aaron Rome will sit in the press box for the time being.
Most importantly for the Canucks is that Roberto Luongo is back to his stellar play. He almost singlehandedly won the game for the Canucks over the Maple Leafs last night and seems as though he has finally hit his form. The Canucks captain has only allowed six goals in his last four games, and is finally repairing a brutal GAA that took some major hits to start the season.
With the Canucks facing so many injuries up front, but a strong defence and a world-class goalie returning to form, this is the type of game that the Canucks need to win by play boring, shut-down hockey. Hopefully for Vancouver, the flu bug that is making its way through the Oilers locker room is more serious that reported. That should help the Canucks take advantage of a sick and tired Oilers team that had to travel to Vancouver overnight after losing in Calgary last night.
Count on a boring game and a low score… and hopefully a third straight win for the Canucks.
Don’t forget to check out what the competition has to say…