No Alex Burrows, or his eyebrows, for tonight’s game (Image via some dudes over at the Sun)
Things could be going better for the Vancouver Canucks right about now. After a less-than-stellar debut performance against the Sharks a few nights ago, they return home to the friendly confines of Rogers Arena without a key piece of the puzzle, as Alex Burrows has been ruled out.
The Edmonton Oilers – who lost their opener at home to the Jets – come into town, and will probably be looking to exact some corporal punishment after the whole Kassian-Gagner fiasco from the preseason. Premedidated fights and goonery. Good times. But hey, at least we have Elliotte Friedman saying interesting things during intermission to look forward to. Plus, Henrik Sedin will be a guest on After Hours tonight (or will it be Daniel? Who really knows?).
I guess we should talk about the game, and the fight, for a bit. Read on past the jump for the preview of tonight’s home opener.
Puck Drop: 7 PM PST
Obviously the biggest news of the day is the updated status of Alex Burrows, who got hurt in Thursday night’s opener while blocking a shot. According to John Tortorella, "he’ll be out for a couple of weeks"..
It’s no doubt a big blow to the Canucks, who rely on Burrows in a huge way. The team’s forward depth – or better yet, lack thereof – was a hot topic of discussion all throughout the summer and preseason, and it reared its ugly head in Game #1 as the 3rd and 4th lines were seriously exposed. Obviously this hurts even that much more with Kassian still out for another 4 games as he serves his suspension. We don’t really have any indication of what the team plans to do, but they’re not calling up another forward for now, so we’re expecting a 7th defenseman to be dressed for the time being. Get well soon, Burr.
So what will the lineup look like then? I’d expect either Booth (who was moved up to the top line in the 3rd period of the opener, anyways) or Hansen (who spent time with the twins last season) to get a look on the top line. Beyond that, it’s hard to even guess what happens because that decision will determine how the rest shakes out. We can assume that whoever doesn’t get bumped up to the top line will probably play with Kesler and Higgins on the 2nd line. Which is scary, because the Santorelli/Richardson pairing was brutal before having Hansen given to them as a life raft in the opener. This could be Zac Dalpe’s chance to move up and play with some more skilled players, but we’ll see.
I’ve seen people speculating that Yannick Weber will be the 7th defenseman the Canucks dress, since he played some forward with the Canadiens over the past few years. I’d personally dress Andrew Alberts, and have him flank Sestito and Weise on the 4th line. I think it’s safe to say that the Oilers will be coming over Weise, so you may as well at least prepare for that. They’ll almost certainly play less than 5 minutes anyways, so it’s probably weise (heh, see what I did there!) not to overthink it.
It’s funny that after all of the buzz and outrage surrounding the Oilers claiming face puncher Steve MacIntyre that he won’t even play in this game (knee injury). Don’t you worry though, you fight enthusiasts, because Edmonton will still be sending out Mike Brown and Luke Gazdic. Speaking of Gazdic.. good god. I’d be terrified if I were Weise or Sestito, and knew that I likely had to face the music tonight.
Few more housekeeping notes:
- Roberto Luongo, no surprise, gets the start again tonight.
- We’ll have our "numbers" section of the preview back up and running soon enough.
- I’m out of commission tonight, but as far as I know Cam Charron will still be covering this game, and will have a recap up not too long after it concludes. I’d recommend that you have some drinks on hand for tonight’s festivities.
LOVE FROM LOU – If you think that Roberto Luongo is up to the task tonight, and will shut the door (to the tune of 1 goal against or less in a win), then you’re getting 4.15-to-1 odds on it.
DEKING DANIEL – If you think the Canucks will find a way to win tonight, and Daniel Sedin will score a goal, you’re getting $3.8 dollars for every dollar you bet. I prefer this one, personally.
- The tale of the tape for tonight’s game. [via CDC]
- If you’re looking to get familiar with the Oilers heading into this one, go to our friends over at Oilers Nation. They’ve got a good preview of tonight’s affair up as well. [via Oilers Nation]
- Don’t you dare ask John Tortorella a question about shot blocking. So what if he himself made a big deal of it in the summer? [via Steve Ewen]
- That’s probably because he’s too busy focusing on the trainwreck that are the team’s 3rd and 4th line. [via Brad Ziemer]
- As I mentioned above, Dale Weise could be in line for a meet-and-greet with Oilers tough guy Luke Gazdic [via Elliott Pap]
Hey, have you signed up for Streakcred yet? If not, what are you waiting for? It’s pretty easy. You sign up, guess the winners of games, and if you’re really good at it, you’ll get some prizes coming your way.