Canucks Army GDT #37 – Canucks vs. Red Wings

Vancouver rang in the new year in probably the least desirable way possible with a no-show against the Los Angeles Kings. Though they had a 2-1 lead with moments to go, the Canucks’ poor play caught up with them, resulting in one of the most disappointing losses of the season. They’ll look to keep pace in the Pacific division tonight and avoid a similar performance against a resurgent Detroit Red Wings team on Hockey Night in Canada.

Read past the jump for a preview.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST

TV: CBC

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

Defensive Pairings
Alexander Edler 
Alexander Edler
Chris Tanev 
Chris Tanev
Ryan Stanton 
Ryan Stanton
Kevin Bieksa 
Kevin Bieksa
Luca Sbisa 
Luca Sbisa
Yannick Weber 
Yannick Weber

Zack Kassian returns to the lineup, taking Linden Vey’s spot on the third line. Kevin Bieksa is probable for tonight, but Bobby Sanguinetti will play if he can’t go. Ryan Miller gets the start in goal.

Defensive Pairings
Jonathan Ericsson 
Jonathan Ericsson
Niklas Kronwall 
Niklas Kronwall
Kyle Quincey 
Kyle Quincey
Dan DeKeyser 
Dan DeKeyser
Brendan Smith 
Brendan Smith
Xavier Ouellet 
Xavier Ouellet

Jimmy Howard gets the nod in net for the Red Wings.

Head to Head

G37 v DET

Storylines

  1. Zack is Back – After being a somewhat controversial healthy scratch against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, Zack Kassian will return to the lineup tonight against the Red Wings. He said the extended absence was frustrating, but now that he’s in the lineup, he’s “not going to come back out.” The Canucks seem insistent on Kassian being a “power forward,” which generally means they’re looking for a type of player that simply doesn’t exist. Unless they radically alter their expectations of Kassian and begin to see him as a useful young forward rather than a stone they have to try and squeeze blood from, they will continue to be disappointed in his play.
  2. So Long, Tom – While not directly related to today’s game, Tom Sestito has cleared waivers and assigned to the Utica Comets. Sestito wasn’t helping the Canucks this season, playing in only three games, and wasn’t helping them while he was in the lineup either. He easily was Vancouver’s worst puck possession player in 2013-2014, and was among the worst players in the NHL in GoalsAgainst/60. In his Canucks career, he played 103 games, scoring 6 goals, 5 assists, and 273 penalty minutes.
  3. Unfamiliar Territory – Thanks to contributions from their young guns, the Detroit Red Wings are not only relevant, but quite good once again this season. The schedule has been rather friendly to them so far this year though, as they have barely left the Eastern time zone. Tonight’s game will be their first in the Pacific all season, making this their second venture out of the East. They played one game in Winnipeg as well. Perhaps unfamiliarity with travel will help the Canucks, although the Wings have been in town for a few days now.

Gameday Reading

  • Larionov18

    I’m hoping for a lot of good old fashioned shots on goal for the Canucks tonight. You remember them, pucks on net that the goalie has to stop. Maybe even, dare I dream, out shoot Detroit.

    • Larionov18

      That would be nice but I think the team will struggle. We don’t have any young guns making key contributions and the key players are older and in a decline.

      • Larionov18

        Our older players are in a decline and in need of support…I swear I’ve heard this somewhere before.

        You know what that means? The door is wide open for Kassian tonight, for the millionth time. Wide freaking open…lets hope he doesn’t spend the entire night looking for the keys.

  • Larionov18

    Really hoping Kassian starts with a bang. I would like to see him earn time on the second line to act as Bone’s and Higgy’s set-up man. Bonino has been too silent and I think he needs to drive harder to the slot and have a guy like Kass do the dirty work along the boards to feed to Bonino (ideally slot) or Higgins (net presence).

    Kass may start where he left off and form a powerful possession driving line on the third with Mathias and Richardson. However I would like to see Hansen there for their go to shut down line and the second sees more offensive usage.

    Burrows deserves a shout out for his play. Unquestionably better than a 4th liner but he’s helping Horvat (not that Dorsett and those 3rd line D pairings should get a pass) keep the line somewhat afloat and the PP time is a bonus to him and the team.