The matchup to follow tonight, no doubt. [Image via Jeff Vinnick]
Things are good in Vancouver right now, with the Canucks – who have won 4 in a row to improve to a 9-4-1 record, which is rather significantly better than I expected it to be at this point – coming off of a dominant performance against the Washington Capitals on Monday night.
The Detroit Red Wings come into town tonight and while they’re certainly not your father’s Wings they still provide intrigue. I’ll save my thoughts on their lineup until we get past the jump, but – in something that’s seems like a curious decision by quite possibly the best coach in hockey – expect to see a familiar (toothless) face on their top line.
Can the Canucks win their 5th game in a row and become the 4th fastest team to get to double digit victories on the season? Well..
Puck Drop: 7:30 PM PST
Before we get started note the start time – it’s 30 minutes later than you’d normally expect a weekday home game to be at. Plan accordingly. There’s a Leafs-Flames game on before that, which hopefully won’t drag on (though knowing TSN’s track record, it totally will..)
Unless something unexpectedly changes in the hours leading up to puck-drop, we’ll see the same lineup out there for the Canucks as we did on Monday. Considering the performance and the outcome, that’s not very surprising. Plus.. with all of the injuries and what not it’s not like Tortorella has very many options at the moment.
When you’re going good as a team things tend to be pretty status quo, which is where the Canucks are at right now. When the time comes, we’ll discuss the changes, but for now enjoy the ride. So with that in mind let’s spend some time looking at the lineup of the incoming opponent, which will look something like this according to Daily Faceoff:
Todd Bertuzzi skating with Zetterberg and Datsyuk, eh? That’s.. interesting. I was as big a fan of Bertuzzi (and the West Coast Express as a whole) as there was back in the day, but 38-year old Bert probably shouldn’t be stealing those minutes from someone that’s more deserving at this point.
The Red Wings are right up there with the San Antonio Spurs as a franchise that has managed to maintain a level of excellence over a signifcant period of time thanks to having a plan as an organization, and sticking with it. And they’re still a good team, but I do find things like using Bertuzzi on the top line and paying Stephen Weiss – a player that was falling apart already, and has been a hot load of garbage this season – nearly $25 million over 5 years curious considering the talent they have in their system at Grand Rapids. Like, say, Gustav Nyquist? Maybe then they wouldn’t be in the bottom 10 of goals/game? Maybe.
But I digress. Despite all of that they’ve managed to post some wicked possession numbers in close game situations. A lot of that has to do with the fact that they have two of the very best 3-zone players in the league, no doubt. I don’t know about you but I’m personally pretty pumped up to watch the magician known as Pavel Datsyuk play hockey tonight.
Look at that ‘poo poo platter’ defense group, though. Tortorella would do well to utilize the last change in getting his top line out against any pairing not named Kronwall/DeKeyser.
|Fenwick Tied %||50.5%||55.5%|
GAME DAY LINKS
- Tale of the Tape for tonight’s game. [via CDC]
- Number 4 in the Top 10 Pavel Bure Moments countown. [via Rob the Hockey Guy]
- A look from Mike Gillis’ perspective at the Sedin contract talks. [via Tony Gallagher]
- Zack Kassian has been good at times, crappy at times, but is coming along. [via Jim Jamieson]
- A look at the week ahead for the Canucks. [via Pass it to Bulis]
Lghts out from Lou – If the Canucks allow 2 goals or less and win, you get $2.75 for every $1 you wager. Keep in mind that Luongo has done just that (<2GA in a win) 6 times this season, including his two most recent appearances.
Daniel Dominating Detroit – 3.30-to-1 odds that Daniel Sedin scores in a Canucks victory. He has a goal in 3 of his last 4 games, and given the way he’s clicking with Kesler and Henrik, do you really want to be betting againt them?
Be sure to sign up with the Canucks Army promo code "CANUCKSARMY" to receive $25 worth of free bets.