This looks weird. (Image via Saed Hindash)
.. or maybe a more appropriate headline would’ve been ‘GDT #4 – Cory Schneider @ Roberto Luongo’, since that’s pretty much what everyone will be talking about leading up to the game, during the game, and after the game. I guess it’s good for the Canucks organization to get this out of the way early, much like they did with Alain Vigneault and the Rangers coming to town during the preseason.
Besides all of that media-driven hoopla, though, there’s actually a game to be played tonight, and there’s a relatively big two points at stake for both teams. So let’s get to the preview.
Puck Drop: 7 PM PST
There’s not all that much to report from a Canucks perspective heading into this one. After a dreadful start to Sunday night’s game, John Tortorella split up the Sedins, pairing Henrik with Santorelli and Higgins, and Daniel with Kesler and Hansen. It worked so well that you at least have to wonder whether we’ll see it again tonight (or until it stops working..). Unfortunately I’ve yet to see a report saying what the coach intended on doing going forward, but I doubt Tortorella would tell the media anyways. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The Canucks need to take advantage of a tired Devils team, and secure the 2 points at home. Keep in mind that their schedule is about to get significantly tougher with the Sharks and Canadiens visiting Rogers Arena to close out the week. Then, they go on a 7-game Eastern Conference trip, before closing out the month against the Capitals and Red Wings. Taking care of the "easier" games at home would be nice.
The New Jersey Devils come into this one winless on the season, having blown a 3-0 lead to the Oilers last night. I really don’t know what to make of them, to be honest. They missed the playoffs last season with a 19-19-10 record, despite being the 2nd best possession team in the entire NHL (just behind the Kings). That was largely in part due to the mediocre goaltending they received from Brodeur and Hedberg, which they figured they’d shored up in the offseason with the acquisition of Schneider.
They also notably lost Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson, but brought in guys like Michael Ryder and Damien Brunner, who should help carry some of the offensive load. Their busy summer also included signing free agents Ryane Clowe and Jaromir Jagr, too.
According to our friends over at DailyFaceoff, this is the lineup we can expect to see tonight:
Kind of a weird team, but one that should remain competitive and fiesty all year long. They intrigue me for whatever reason. Who knows how many more times we’ll see Jaromir Jagr protect the puck by keeping the defender at bay with his body?
Oh yeah, this game also pitts John Tortorella vs Peter DeBoer, and they, um, don’t really like each other..
|Fenwick Tied %||58.1%||50.9%|
- The tale of the tape for tonight’s game [via CDC]
- The Canucks should have received more for Cory Schneider. [via Ben Kuzma]
- At least there’s no goalie controversy, right? [via Jim Jamieson]
- The Canucks’ new weapon: two Sedin lines? [via Ed Willes]
- Cory Schneider insists that he has moved on from the Canucks. [via Brad Ziemer]
Also, if you’d like to get more coverage on the game, I recommend following Tom Gulitti on Twitter, who does a fantastic job covering the Devils.
Streaking Santorelli – Mike Santorelli, the hero from Sunday night, scored his first 2 goals in a Canucks uniform in the team’s most recent game. If you believe that he’s got another one in him, and that the Canucks will win, then you’re getting 7-to-1 odds on it.
Battle of the Goalies – This is a good one. You’re getting $3 for every $1 you bet if you believe that the Canucks will win in a low scoring game (under 4.5 goals). The Devils are playing in the 2nd on a back-to-back, and already have troubles scoring as is. Plus, I’m sure Cory Schneider will do everything in his power to put on a show. I’d recommend this one personally.
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.
Tonight has 8 games on the schedule, including this one. My personal favourite is the Sharks over the Rangers, who played last night against the Kings, at home tonight. But check it out for yourself.