Welcome back, guy.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for the Canucks, as their contest with the New Jersey Devils on Thursday afternoon is the penultimate game of their 7-game roadtrip. After a fun overtime victory against the Islanders two days ago, they’ll be playing a Devils squad that pretty desperately needs a victory, but almost certainly won’t be willing to engage in an up-tempo affair. The slower, the better.. which doesn’t exactly lend itself to great television.
But regardless, David Booth is back in the lineup after being scratched last time out (in an attempt to deliver a message to him, or something like that), and we’ll get to see Cory Schneider’s friendly face one more time. Read on past the jump for a preview in which I promise to refrain from making any Steve Bernier jokes!
Puck Drop: 4 PM PST
TV: Rogers Sportsnet Vancouver
As I mentioned above, David Booth is back in the lineup, taking the place of Jannik Hansen (who was sent back to Vancouver to be evaluated following his ugly collision on Tuesday). I expect we’ll see a 2nd line of Higgins-Santorelli-Kassian, who were awesome against the Islanders. Hopefully Kassian will be able to continue impressing, and keep his string of strong games going.
That means that Booth will likely be on a 3rd line with Richardson and Weise, which doesn’t exactly sound like a recipe that’ll get him back on the scoring sheet. But whatever. Andrew Alberts, who played 1 measly shift (lasting a grand total of 37 seconds) will be back in on a 4th line with Welsh and Sestito.
Let’s get to some housekeeping newsy stuff, shall we? Alex Burrows was out there for the full gameday skate, but won’t be playing tonight. There has been some speculation that he’ll be back for tomorrow’s game against the Blues, but it’s just purely speculation at this point. Meanwhile, Yann Sauve’s recall was defined as a "paper transaction", and he won’t be playing tonight. Nor will he be playing ever, hopefully.
Vancouver’s opponent tonight is just such a weird team. I mentioned this in the preview of their first meeting this season, but they have so many random new parts that have been put together on the fly. There’s some nice talent on the team, sure, but none of it seems to make all that much sense as a whole.
As you’ll notice in the Numbers section below, they’re on track to yet again miss the playoffs despite maintaining very strong possession metrics. Unfortunately for them, they’ve really struggled converting those shot attempts into goals (26 in the NHL in goals/game). It also doesn’t help that Martin Brodeur and his .865 save % has started nearly half of their games thus far.
According to Tom Gulitti (who I’d recommend following on Twitter if you’re looking for some analysis from a Devils perspective, for whatever reason) this is what we can expect Pete DeBoer’s New Jersey Devils to look like tonight:
No, not that Gelinas.. *shudders*.
|Fenwick Tied %||52.2%||52.4%|
GAME DAY LINKS
- Tale of the Tape for tonight’s game. [via CDC]
- John Tortorella on diving, whining. [via Dan Rosen]
- At least Roberto Luongo doesn’t have Cory Schneider breathing down his neck. [via Jason Botchford]
- Is David Booth not doing enough to play? [via Pass it to Bulis]
Sorry Schneider – If the Canucks get at least 4 pucks past Cory Schneider in a victory tonight, you get $3.75 for every $1 that you wager. This is a tough one, seenig as Schneider has yet to give up more than 3 goals in a single game this season, but you never know.
Devilish Daniel – You can get 3.25-to-1 odds on Daniel Sedin scoring a goal in a Canucks victory. He scored his 3rd of the season last time out against the Islanders, and if he continues this early season pace of nearly 4 shots on goal/game, those goal totals will start piling up in a hurry.
Be sure to sign up with the Canucks Army promo code "CANUCKSARMY" to receive $25 worth of free bets.