Photo Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
The Oilers, fresh off of pantsing the living hell out of the somehow playoff bound Minnesota Wild on Friday and killing the dream of a Canucks first round bye, will look to finish another disappointing season off on a winning note. The Canucks meanwhile, have a final opportunity to tune up for the postseason and also another opportunity for a key player to go down with an injury. I know for sure that there will be a number of fatalistic Canucks fans watching Saturday’s contest whilst holding their breath…
Read past the jump.
Puck Drop: 7 PM PST
Radio: Team 1040
It looks like Kevin Bieksa is going to return to the Canucks lineup on Saturday for a postseason tune up game. That’s great news so long as he makes it through the contest without getting further dinged up.
Meanwhile Ryan Kesler, the Sedin twins and all of the key defenceman appear set to play, so yeah, hold your breath and hope Taylor Hall doesn’t get too frustrated. Meanwhile it looks like Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows are out of the lineup and will be replaced on the top-line by Dale Weise and Steve Pinizzotto. So yeah, Henrik will probably only manage three assists or so.
I’d expect we’ll see Henrik Sedin get limited ice-time (hopefully no more than eight even strength minutes), while the second line has their minutes limited as well and the same goes for the top-two defence pairings – if they play at all. Frank Corrado played over twenty minutes on Thursday, and I’d think he’ll see a similar level of burn on Hockey Night in Canada paired with Andrew Alberts. It’s possible the Canucks will rest Jason Garrison, Dan Hamhuis and Alex Edler on Saturday so we might see a Derek Joslin, Kevin Bieksa, Cam Barker, Keith Ballard, Frank Corrado, Andrew Alberts defensive group which, yeah, Luongo better be on his game.
Obviously, based on my last sentence, Roberto Luongo starts again for the Canucks and it could be his last start in a Canucks jersey. Will Jim Hughson gently sob through a series of flamboyant "Great Save Luongo!" calls? Will you sob along with him?
For the Oilers, it’s the last game in another miserable season that will see them back in the expanded draft lottery (a lottery they’ll probably win, who are we kidding). A couple of plot lines to watch out for on the Oilers? Taylor Hall could hit some bonuses which would be funny (he’s currently at 47 points so a couple additional points would put him in the top-10 and cost the Oilers some coin). Also I have a bet with the Score’s Scott Lewis that Jordan Eberle wouldn’t exceed 35.5 points. After last night’s whoopping of the Wild, Eberle’s sitting at 35. So that should make things pretty interesting for me personally especially with Barker, Joslin, Alberts, Bieksa, Ballard and Corrado in the lineup. Actually I’ve probably already lost that particular bet…
Hopefully the Canucks can finish off the season on a winning note, but really, so long as the club can make it through the game without sustaining any injuries that’ll count as a victory in my books.
Game Day Links:
- Canucks Gambling on Corrado and Schneider. (White Towel)
- Juice Set Loose for Final Playoff Tune Up (Vancouver Sun)
- 2013 Canucks Years in Review (Pass it to Bulis)
- Canucks at Edmonton Game Preview (CBC)
- The Oilers put a dent in the Wild’s Playoff hopes Friday, but it hurt Edmonton’s draft position. (OilersNation)