Canucks Army GDT #13 – Canucks @ Blues

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

Radio: Team1040


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’.)


  Canucks Blues
Record 7-4-1 5-1-1
Goal Differential  0


PP  3/31 7/26
PK  36/42 24/31
Fenwick Tied % 49.4% 50.9%
Corsi % 52.0% 50.9%
PDO 100.2  102.7

via and Hockey Analysis 


  • 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]


Our friends over at after offering two specials for tonight’s game:

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.

Don’t forget to sign up for Streakcred!

  • My heart is with the Canucks, but my money is on the Blues in this one. 5 games in 7 nights, with the depleted roster against the rested Blues, I’m just hoping they put up a decent fight in this one. Still, as mentioned in the post, this road trip has gone much better than expected. I would have been happy if they’d gone 3-3-1, so another point or two tonight is just gravy.

    I’ve been happy with what I’ve seen from the team so far, but understand it’s been against some weak opposition, so the jury’s still out. I think Tortorella’s doing a great job with this team (as I expected he would) and things will only get better as the season progresses. Looking forward to leaving work early so I can catch the game without the PVR delay!

  • Holy crap the bottom six is just *brutal*. If the Canucks were healthy, hopefully only one of those players would be seeing regular ice time with the big team. Burrows, Hansen, Booth, Weise and Schroeder can’t get healthy fast enough.

  • DCR

    The Canucks have been feasting on the bottom end of the League lately, but they’ve also been forced to ice partial teams.

    I’ll worry about team quality once they start icing a full team.

    • andyg

      Lately? I got news for ya, man. The Canucks have been bottom feeding for a long, long time. Come to think of it, when have the Canucks ever feasted on any top contender during any season they have played during their whole history? The Canucks have NEVER been able to beat any true top teams convincingly…ever. That is why they have and will never win the cup.

  • acg5151

    “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”

    Nothing new about this…

    4-2 Blues.

    • andyg

      Actually a lot new in the sense that in this game you had a bottom six of basically AHLers — when Sestito is taking a regular shift you know you’re in trouble. This was the most impressive game I think I’ve seen this season, not based on the style of play or the outcome, but by the effort level given the circumstances (injuries, long road trip). I was happy we got to OT, anything after that was gravy. Lucky for us the Blues looked very rusty the first two periods. Backes is a complete douche.

      • argoleas

        I think what was noteworthy was not only that the blues looked rusty, but that Vancouver did not look like a tired team. They played way better than yesterday.

        Team got 11 of 14 points in this trip. Take it and move on.

        • argoleas

          I don’t think I said the Canucks dominated the game in any way. And I clearly stated that this wasn’t the best in terms of style. I certainly wouldn’t want to go more than 1 or 2 games with a bottom six consisting of 3 (recent) AHL call ups, a seldom used goon, and a depth defenseman. As a fan of the team, however, I appreciate the significant effort when I could have well understood laying down, especially in the third. There were a few shifts there — especially by the 2nd and 3rd lines — that really were about gutting it out. I’m not sure how you saw my earlier post as implying this should be a model for them moving forward — nothing could be further from the truth. I simply appreciate what they did tonight.

          • andyg

            You are looking at this all wrong.You need to look for the one or two players who may stick around once Burrows and Hansen come back.

            That’s how you find your depth players.

          • andyg

            And when the Canucks were playing well they had 9 legit NHL forwards healthy.

            The Canucks are a little unlucky to have three top 9 wingers out all at once.

            But one more bounce goes STL’s way and nobody is particularly impressed…

  • andyg

    Well well well, the Canucks just squeaked out a win thanks to the ref. Seeing that 2 goal lead disappear, it’s obvious the stench of AV still remains long after his departure.

    They need to give Torts an extra million just because of the pain and hardship he must have to deal with on a daily basis with this team.
    Ditto for Santorelli. No only is Santorelli the only guy that shows up practically every night to play, the guy can play smart as well. Santorelli is like another Chris Draper, one of those players you need to keep for a lifetime.

    They couldn’t block a shot during the 5 on 3 if their lives counted. Where are those anti show blockers now? It was an open range. Pathetic lazy defense when it most mattered. Give Santorelli Luongo’s contract. Trade most of the rest away for a bag of cashews.

  • andyg

    You guys can talk till the cows come home about who’s on ice or how many defense men or wingers the team has but the problem has to do with the players themselves. That is what separates better pros to ordinary pros. The problem is that most of these guys treat it like it’s their job. When you got a pay check coming in week after week, it’s not hard to see why so many of these guys take a night off every other night they feel like it. If you have 5 players in line waiting to replace you if you don’t perform, you can bet your ass you’ll play better. The Canucks need more Santorelli’s, guys who can play with their heads as much as their will. Guys who even have a thing called “will”. You turn a B student into Einstein or Tesla, you either spend the money to get those people or you don’t expect genius from someone who’s not. this entire organization after almost half a century still believes it can get something for nothing. I blamed Linen less than those fools who kept trying to sell the idea that somehow that group could get the job done. Look at George Mcphee, he’s got another Canucks thing going down there in Wshington. Ovechkin will not retire with the Capitals, unless he wants to go through a whole career without a Cup. The Canucks tentacles of ineptitude reach far and wide.

  • andyg

    Jeez, what game were all y’all watching? I watched an incredibly gritty, gutsy effort by the Canucks. Here’s a team that iced a second line of Higgins-Richardson-Santorelli. A team that played an OT game last night in Jersey, then flew all the way to St. Louis to play a much better-rested team. A team that then proceeded to play a very good Blues team to a near-standstill…if it weren’t for a chintzy penalty call on Kassian late in the second, this could have very well been a Canucks shutout.

    The only good pressure St. Louis had was on that 5-on-3 and afterwards in the first ten minutes of the third. Other than that they were kept to the outside, bottled up by a bunch of fourth-liners and AHLers who played like they just wanted it more. Sestito had a terrific game playing an increased role where he could have been completely exposed, but he wasn’t. Welsh, who is Welsh? He was good tonite, the first time I’ve really seen anything from him at all. The chips were down and they got it done; it was the kind of inspiring win that brings a team closer together.

  • andyg

    I see Roy and Paajarvi played 11 and 10 minutes last night. Replacing MacDonald and Perron with these 2 appears to be no where near equal.

    The only time I noticed either one was when Roy was diving and Paajarvi was crumbling from Kassian’s hit.