Back At It: Canucks & Devils

New Jersey Devils @ Vancouver Canucks

7:00 PM PST

Devils   Canucks
3 Wins 4
8 Losses 3
1 OTL 2
1.67 (30th) Goals/Game 2.67 (T-18th)
3.25 (25th) Goals Against/Game 2.44 (9th)
7.7% (T-30th) PP 22.9% (7th)
81.8% (19th) PK 83.3% (14th)

What To Watch For

> It’s OK to be mean: It was only about two weeks ago that the Canucks wandered into Anaheim to meet, at the time, the laughing-stock Ducks. The supposed easy two points against the worst team in the league were theirs to lose, so of course, they lost them. Elite teams don’t do that. Check the Devils stats above; they’re putrid and everyone knows it. Vancouver needs to be another link in their chain of misery, not the glimmer of hope they’re looking for. They don’t have Parise, their secondary scoring has disappeared, their defense looks shaky and someone has abducted Martin Broduer. In contract the Canucks are  well-rested, healthier, looking to string together three wins straight and undefeated at home. Of course nothing is a given, but last place teams with this much turmoil don’t come around very often. There’s no excuse.

> Nervous time for Tambellini: Alex Burrows will finally don the Orca tomorrow night in Edmonton, meaning tonight could be the last we see of Jeff Tambellini with the Sedins. Tambo has scored two goals alongside the twins and has looked at home for the most part, though doesn’t bring the crash and bang style that Burrows is known for. With the second line just getting going, does Tambellini drop to the third line? The fourth? If so who is the odd man out?

> Bettin’ on Ballard: Ballard made some good progress over the weekend and could play tonight. Ryan Parent tweaked his groin during practice too so unless we see some movement from Manitoba, one of them has to be ready. Afternoon reports suggest it’s Ballard in for Parent who himself was in for Dan Hamhuis who – you guessed it – is still out. With four games in six nights, is Ballard ready for top four minutes? The jury is very much still out on the Ballard trade, but he could help calm fears by stringing some strong games together to start off November.