Hey, I know that guy! (Image via John Minchillo/AP)
A friendly face, depending who you talk to of course, comes back to town tonight as Alain Vigneault and his new squad, the New York Rangers, visit Rogers Arena to face the Canucks.
While speaking with Brad Ziemer this morning, Vigneault said that "fans don’t come to see coaches.. I don’t think anyone is coming to see me". While that’s definitely true, there’s no denying that his return is dominating the headlines today. And that’s a much needed relief for the Canucks, who haven’t provided us with very many positives to discuss over the past few weeks. A distraction is more than welcome right about now.
Tonight’s tilt with the Rangers marks the final game of the preseason for the Canucks, meaning that this will be the last chance for fringe guys like Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk to make an impression on the coaching staff in the hopes of sticking around for the team’s opener a week from tonight.
Puck-drop: 7 PM PST
In Net: Luongo (expected to play full game)
Hey, David Booth is expected to make his preseason debut! It has been since March 16th, so seeing him out there will surely be a pleasant sight for Canucks fans. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope he gets through this test without a hitch.
There’s not all that much more to say about tonight’s lineup, though. Horvat and Shinkaruk both have one final shot to force John Tortorella’s hand in keeping them around for at least the first few games of the season.
I don’t know how I feel about that group of defensemen, though. Actually, that’s a lie, because I know exactly how I feel about it: yuck. Obviously things will look significantly different once the team’s two most reliable blueliners Hamhuis and Garrison draw back in next Thursday, but for now I guess we’ll have to sit through the Yannick Weber-Andrew Alberts experience for one more night.
The Rangers came to terms with their top center Derek Stepan, but he won’t be in the lineup tonight. If you’d like a further look at what the Rangers have going on tonight, I’d recommend following Pat Leonard who does a commendable job of covering the team. Here’s their lineup from this morning’s skate:
#NYR AM lines: Pouliot-Brass-Nash, Pyat-Rich-Zucc, Powe-DMoore-Fast (not sure who is C), Miller-Boyle-Dors. McD, G, Staal, Stral, DZ, JMoore
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) September 26, 2013