Leave Zack Kassian alone, you big meanie!
I guess you could say that the odds aren’t in the Canucks’ favour heading into the final game of a road trip which has taken them 13 days to complete. They’re bruised, battered, tired, and probably just want to get home to their own beds and whoever they happen to have waiting for them back in Vancouver.
Thanks to some strong goaltending from Roberto Luongo last night they were able to improve to 4-1-1, which makes the trip an awfully successful one – regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game – despite the fact that they’ve looked more than shaky in getting there. With that being said, the Blues are a team that they could very well see come playoff time, and I’m sure that none of the guys in the Canucks lockerroom would particularly like to get embarrassed on this Friday night. Whether it winds up mattering on the scoreboard or not, I find it hard to believe that they’ll lay down for the Blues.
Read on past the jump for a preview of the game which many think will be a lopsided one.
Puck Drop: 5 PM PST
TV: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific
Here’s the lineup that Daily Faceoff has preliminarily announced for the Canucks:
EDITOR’S NOTE: Apparently Kassian has been moved down to the 3rd line in favour of Richardson, and Weber is in on the 4th line instead of Alberts.
Looks like more of a trick than a treat. With Booth, Weise, and Hansen all out with injuries (and Burrows not yet ready to return, though by all accounts he should be good to go when they return home to host the Capitals next week), the team called up Darren Archibald and Pascal Pelletier from the Utica Comets last night.
Pelletier has been lighting it up in the AHL this year, but he’s a 30-year old journeyman who has no points in 13 career NHL games, so I wouldn’t get too excited about him. As for Archibald, he was our 14th ranked prospect this summer, and I actually really like his game. There’s reason to believe that he could wind up being a serviceable depth forward down the line.
Anyways, looking at that forward group it’s clear that the Canucks will need to rely heavily on their top line if they hope to avoid getting blown out of the water. The unfortunate part about that, though, is that the Sedins and Kesler each topped 25 minutes in last night’s shootout victory, so how much do they even have left in the tank for this one? Who knows. It’s kind of crazy to me that the Sedins both set career highs in time on ice for a regular season game last night.. in their age 33 season.. in October. Tortorella is riding them hard right now, but he needs to or the team would be in some serious trouble.
In net we’ll see Eddie Lack make his 3rd start of the season. He has stopped 58 of 64 shots he has faced this season (.906 save %), and has definitely had his moments, though he did lose last weekend in Columbus. I figure the team may’ve gone back to Luongo for this game were it not for the 4 wins they’ve already accumulated on this trip. Guess there’s no need to burn him out at this point.
What’s going on with the St.Louis Blues? Well, they haven’t played since last Friday, so fatigue shouldn’t be an issue for them in the least. They’re 5-1-1 on the year (they’ve remarkably played 5 less games than the Canucks, somehow!). Their only regulation loss was a beating at the hands of the Sharks, with Canucks fans are familiar with. They’ve also beaten the Blackhawks twice this year already, and are unquestionably one of the deepest, toughest teams to match up with in the entire league. They have so many annoying, feisty, versatile players, and don’t have very many noticeable holes that jump off of the page. Good luck, guys.
(Note: Obviously given everything I’ve just mentioned, it’s easy to see why the Blues are considered to be heavy favourites to take care of business in this game. However, let me just say that I wouldn’t exactly be stunned if the Canucks put up a better fight than you may think they’d be capable of.. it’s sports, and sometimes when something seems to be way too good to be true, it usually is. I’m just sayin’.)
|Fenwick Tied %||49.4%||50.9%|
GAME DAY LINKS
- Tale of the Tape for tonight’s game. [via CDC]
- Well-rester Blues to be tough challenge for the Canucks. [via Brad Ziemer]
- Canucks defy odds as attrition catches up. [via Tony Gallagher]
- #9 in the Top 10 Pavel Bure Moments. [via Rob the Hockey Guy]
Busting the Blues – If the Canucks score first and then hang on to win in regulation you get 6.5-to-1 odds. Yep, they’re a pretty heavy underdog tonight.
Rocket from Ryan – If Ryan Kesler scores his 6th goal of the season and the Canucks win, you get $6 for every $1 you wager. At those odds, it may be worth a sprinkle. After all.. if the Canucks are to win it’ll probably take a big effort from Ryan Kesler, anyways.
Be sure to sign up with the Canucks Army promo code "CANUCKSARMY" to receive $25 worth of free bets.