To steal the words of a wise, well-spoken man — “Wow, what a few days.“
Since the last time the Vancouver Canucks hit the ice for a game there have been some substantial off-ice changes made, as I’m sure you’ve heard. And while there will unquestionably be more where that came from in the coming months, there are still 3 more games to be drawn out of this godforsaken ’13-’14 schedule. While it would certainly behoove them to lose their final couple contests, I’d imagine that the organization would like to do so in a less embarrassing fashion than they did the other night.
I’m sure we won’t hear a single comparison made over the course of tonight’s game between what the Avs did by bringing in Joe Sakic last summer, and what the Canucks did yesterday. Nope, nary a reference.
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST
TV: Sportsnet Pacific
Lineup visuals via Daily Faceoff:
Sure enough, John Tortorella is a man of his word — it’s time to let the kids play! So what if it’s 6 months later, with only 3 measly games left on the slate. So what if, at this point, guys like Corrado and Jensen may actually be better served being sheltered from this mess by being given a chance to compete in a legitimate playoff race down in Utica?
As you can see above, Frankie Corrado is expected to draw back into the lineup – tonight, and in the final pair of games as well – after being a healthy scratch against the Ducks. If he does in fact get to play next to Dan Hamhuis, I’m sure he’ll do just fine. Especially in comparison to the Yann Sauve Experience he went through earlier in the season.
Making room for him on the back-end is the absence of Jason Garrison, who should likely be shut down for the remainder of the season. As Jason Botchford has reported numerous times, Garrison has been dealing with both an ankle and groin injury for months now, and really should’ve been put on the IR way back when the injuries were actually sustained. Instead, the team rode him, and he was abysmal after what looked like a thoroughly promising start to the season.
But forget all of that, because it pales in comparison to the really important news for tonight — JACOB MARKSTROM IS ALIVE! He’ll make his first start in a Canucks uniform, which means that it has been 111 days since his last NHL start. Once Eddie Lack gets off of the IV, he’ll likely have to be escorted to the bench because he probably has absolutely no idea where it actually is.
Everyone in the building better give this dude a standing ovation when he makes his first save, and I don’t mean in an ironic Bronx cheer sense.
It has been exactly two weeks since we last saw the Avs, so not all that much has changed in terms of my thoughts on them as a team since I wrote up this preview. Well, except for the fact that they’re now missing Matt Duchene, which is a devastating blow to their already slim chances in the 1st round (assuming he’s not available from the get-go, which seems like the case as of now).
But hey, they’re going to the playoffs and have quickly flipped the script from last season, when they somehow managed to finish with 20 fewer points than the Canucks (in only 48 games, no less). It’s about as expedited a turnaround as you could possibly hope for in professional sports, even if some of their success this season can be attributed to puck luck.
via Extra Skater:
|5v5 Corsi Close %||52.0 (9th)||47.3 (26th)|
|5v5 GF/60||2.12 (22nd)||2.52 (6th)|
|5v5 GA/60||2.17 (13th)||2.18 (14th)|
|5v5 PDO||99.6 (T-18th)||101.9 (3rd)|
|5v4 GF/60||4.78 (28th)||6.50 (9th)|
|5v4 SF/60||58.0 (4th)||49.1 (19th)|
|4v5 GA/60||5.05 (6th)||6.06 (15th)|
|4v5 SA/60||39.4 (1st)||58.4 (26th)|
There are just three games left in the 2013-14 season (including this one), and they’re all against members of the now-defunct Northwest Division. Alas, it brings us back to the simpler times, when the Canucks would wallop the likes of Colorado, Calgary, and Edmonton, padding their gaudy stats along the way.
Anyways, Pass it to Bulis’ preview of the week ahead is worth reading based on the nostalgia. The times, they are a-changin’.