Wake up Eddie, you’re in net tonight! (Image via Nick Didlick)
What a difference a day makes, eh? At this time yesterday, there was at least a unease felt in Vancouver regarding the state of the team following a lackluster performance in the season opener, and the news that Alex Burrows would be out for a few weeks. Then they went out and laid an absolute shellacking on the pitiful Oilers.
Much like it wasn’t time to start totally panicking after one loss, it’s still not time to start planning the parade following one win. While the offensive showing was certainly impressed, we need to keep in mind that it came against a swiss cheese defense that was playing without its top two centres. Still, that’s what good teams do; take care of business at home, leaving little doubt.
There ain’t no rest for the wicked, though, with the season’s first back-to-back on the schedule. The Canucks will hop on a quick flight to Calgary, and attempt to complete a sweep of Alberta on Sunday evening. Read on past the jump for a preview of tonight’s game.
Puck Drop: 5 PM PST
TV: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific
As the picture up top indicates, it has been announced that John Tortorella is giving Eddie Lack his first career NHL start on Sunday night. I’m sure that the Canucks don’t want to ride Roberto Luongo into the ground in the regular season, so it’ll be important for Lack to show that he’s capable of handling somewhere in the ballpark of 17-22 start this season. Especially since he has fellow Swedish goalie Joacim Eriksson breathing down his throat. There’s no back-to-backs on the schedule until October 19th/20th, so this could be Lack’s only chance to impress over the course of the first few weeks of the campaign.
We haven’t heard any news yet, but after last night’s performance, I highly doubt we’ll see any lineup changes. That means that you can expect the following 4 lines [thanks to our friends over at DailyFaceoff]:
There was some debate as to whether it would be Hansen or Booth that would be afforded the luxury of playing next to the Sedins, and it turned out to be the Honey Badger. That decision turned out to be a good one, as I thought Hansen played a really good game next to the twins, benefitting from a ridiculous tic-tac-toe passing play to score the team’s 3rd goal last night. Meanwhile, Booth looked okay in his return to the AmEx line, but it was Kesler who was fantastic all night long. He fired 9 shots on goal, which was a welcome sight for all (well, except the opposition). Higgins registered 3 shots on goal himself, giving him 8 on the season now. Not bad.
What can we expect from the Flames? While they – as we’ve become accustomed to in recent years – have a medley of players you’d initially scoff at in their lineup, I wouldn’t overlook them. They scored 4 goals in each of their first two games, on the road, against two teams I’d consider to be at least decent (Columbus and Washington).
In terms of things to watch for, I’d keep an eye out for the Baertschi-Monahan-Stempniak line, which has done very well early on. On defense, they’re relying heavily on their top pairing of TJ Brodie and Mark Giordano, with Wideman playing in a more sheltered role. We won’t get to see Karri Ramo in net for them tonight, as they’re expected to go back to Joey MacDonald following his victory a few nights ago. Oh well.
|Fenwick Tied %||61.90%||56.50%|
- The tale of the tape for tonight’s game. [via CDC]
- A strong forecheck beffudled the Oilers last night, and could be a key for the Canucks all year. [via Tony Gallagher]
- And finally, if you’d like to read up on the opposition tonight go check out our pals over at Flames Nation.
Silencing the Saddledome: If the Canucks score the first goal tonight, and wind up winning, you get $2.60 for every $1 that you bet. I’d say those are some pretty darn good odds.
Buries from Burrows: I’d recommend not betting this once since, you know, Alex Burrows isn’t playing and what not.
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.
There’s only 3 games on tonight’s schedule (including this one). I’d personally go with the Winnipeg Jets beating the Anaheim Ducks tonight. It’s a combination of believing in the Jets (and more importantly, their play on home ice in front of that raucous crowd) and not believing in the Ducks, who are playing in the 2nd of a back-to-back.