Memories on the 1994 Stanley Cup Final will be ressurected tonight as the New York Rangers visit the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place tonight. The thoughts of 15 years ago are bittersweet for many Canucks fans. Canucks fans hope the memories of tonight’s game are just sweet.
Although the Rangers won their last contest, they have struggled of late, losing 5 of their past 7 contests. They were bolstered by the return of Marion Gaborik, who returned to the lineup after a brief stint on the injured list. Canucks fans are well aware of Gaborik from his time with the Minnesota Wild. Gaborik is a game-changer – he’s a player who can produce brilliant opportunities seemingly out of nowhere. He will surely be a focus of the Canucks defence tonight.
The Canucks continue to suffer from an utterly depleted roster, which has diminished their forward lines to smattering of season starters, filled in with minor league callups and recent signees. Matt Pettinger will see his return to the Canucks squad tonight after recently inking a deal with Vancouver, in light of number of missing bodies up front.
Despite the rash of injuries, the Canucks are finding ways to win. Vancouer has posted the exact opposite result as the Rangers in their past seven games, as they have won 5 of 7. The Canucks can thank Andrew Raycroft for filling in admirably for an injured Roberto Luongo. The loss in Anaheim aside (which is a complete team debacle), Raycroft has played sharply since taking over for the Canucks captain in net. Vancouver’s backup netminder currently leads the league in GAA at 1.66 and is third in save percentage at 0.932 .
The Rangers have not been scoring much lately, which has led to their recent slide. The Canucks have tightened up their defence since struggling to get out of the gate this season. The Canucks game, once again, promises to be a low-scoring, entertainment-challenged affair. Yes, that’s a polite way of saying this game will likely be boring as hell. Let’s hope it is as boring as their last game, where the Canucks lulled their opponents to sleep and won.