Hey guys, remember me? Can I play?
Five games into the season, and the Canucks have been anything but consistent. Well, maybe their performance can be described as consistently inconsistent now that I think about it. They’ve only managed to submit one really dominant performance though (last Saturday night against the Oilers), to go along with one good one (against the Devils, though it was really that one impressive period that did it), and three stinkers.
Yet despite the fact that they’ve been all over the map, they’re still 3-2, so things could be worse. I’m not sure there’s much to take away from the loss against the Sharks a few nights ago; they’re pretty clearly in a different class, but that’s okay, because that puts the Canucks in the same boat as roughly 26-28 other teams. At least they’ve managed to take care of business against lesser teams.
This is a relatively big game for the home team, as it’ll be the last time they play in the friendly confines of Rogers Arena over the next 2+ weeks. It’s also one that’s not lacking for storylines, that’s for sure. Alex Edler will start serving his 3 game suspension, Zack Kassian will be returning from his 5 game suspension, Brendan Gallagher and Carey Price return home (I’m sure this won’t be the last time you hear about this), and it’ll all be happening on Hockey Night in Canada!
Read on past the jump for a look at what to expect tonight.
Puck Drop: 7 PM PST
Nux lines in morning skate: 22-33-25; 20-17-36; 7-15-9; 29-21-32. D-pairings: 5-3; 2-8; 18-6. #canucks
— Elliott Pap (@ElliottPap) October 12, 2013
If those combinations hold up then, that means we’ll see Mike Santorelli continue his run with the Sedins despite the return of the Kassassin. Santorelli played 23:42 which is kind of an insane total, despite the fact that he’s undoubtedly playing really well. Even John Tortorella admitted that it was probably a bit much in the press conference after the game.
As for Kassian, he’ll slide onto the 3rd line next to David Booth and Brad Richardson. Whatever you think of Kassian as an up-and-coming player, there’s no denying that he’s a welcome addition to the team. I’m sure he’ll be more than amped up to return to action and make an impact for his team, but hopefully he still manages to be in control. You’d hate to see him try to do too much, cost the team, and then jump right back into Tortorella’s doghouse.
Speaking of players returning, Jordan Schroeder took part in the morning skate this morning. He’s not quite ready to return yet, but he’ll be travelling with the team on their upcoming 7-game road trip.
On defense, we’ll see Yannick Weber move from the 4th line role he had been filled to his natural position on the back-end.
According to DailyFaceoff, the Canadiens lineup will look something like this:
I’m quite excited to see this team in person. PK Subban is easily in my Top 5 of most exciting players to watch in the NHL, Max Pacioretty is a monster, Lars Eller looks like he’s finally taking that next step, and Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk are both awesome young players. Should be a fun game.
*I’m actually going to be going to the game as a fan – which means I’ll be sitting in the stands, drinking beer, yelling profanities, and all that jazz – so I’m not sure if we’ll have a game recap up for this one (maybe tomorrow morning, but no promises). Sorry about that. Feel free to follow along on Twitter, though.
|Fenwick Tied %||52.7%||53.3%|
GAME DAY LINKS
- Tale of the Tape in advance of tonight’s game. [via CDC]
- A preview of the game from the opposition’s perspective. [via Habs Eyes on the Prize]
- Some notes on the game from the biggest "code" breaker of them all. [via Jason Botchford]
- A verbal fellating of Brendan Gallagher. [via Elliott Pap]
Hot Hand Hansen – If the Canucks win and Jannik Hansen scores his 3rd goal of the season, you get $6 for every $1 that you wager. On that note, though, there’s no denying that Hansen needs to start shooting the puck more frequently. After being on pace for 173 shots on goal (per-82 games) last season, he has only managed to get 7 pucks on net in 5 games this year.
Team Canada Tendys – With this one you’re betting on the Canucks taking the 2 points in a low scoring game (under 5.5 total goals). The odds are 3.20-to-1, which isn’t bad. Worth a roll of the dice.
Be sure to sign up with the Canucks Army promo code "CANUCKSARMY" to receive $25 worth of free bets.
Don’t forget to sign up for Streakcred. There’s 10 games on the docket tonight, so this is as good a night to test yourself when it comes to predicting games as any. There’s 3 games that jump out at me: Flyers at Red Wings, Rangers at Blues, and Sabres at Blackhawks. I like the hot team in all three.