Canucks Army GDT #38 – Canucks vs. Islanders

The New York Islanders have transformed themselves into one of the East’s best teams overnight, and they come to Vancouver looking to continue to challenge for the Metropolitan division title. Vancouver on the other hand will be looking to not only build on a good win against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, but also to avenge a horrific 7-4 loss at the hands of these same Isles last season.

Read past the jump for today’s game preview.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

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

Despite the graphic, Nicklas Jensen will not be taking Jannik Hansen’s 4th line spot tonight. This is an error and Hansen is still scheduled to play in his regular spot. Alex Burrows has been reunited with the Sedin twins, and Radim Vrbata will skate on line two with Chris Higgins and Nick Bonino. Eddie Lack will get a bit of a surprise start, meaning that the Lack vs. Luongo showdown likely will not happen on Thursday.

Defensive Pairings
Calvin de Haan 
Calvin de Haan
Travis Hamonic 
Travis Hamonic
Nick Leddy 
Nick Leddy
Johnny Boychuk 
Johnny Boychuk
Thomas Hickey 
Thomas Hickey
Lubomir Visnovsky 
Lubomir Visnovsky

Lubomir Visnovsky has been placed on IR and is out tonight. Michael Grabner will likely return from injury to face the team that drafted him after missing most of this season. Jaroslav Halak will likely get the nod in goal.

Head to Head

G38 v NYI

Storylines

  • Return to Relevance – After years struggling to make an impact in the Eastern conference, the Islanders’ youth movement coupled with some shrewd offseason additions has vaulted them into contention for the Eastern conference. Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy have both been rock solid on their back end, leading the Isles with Corsis just shy of 58%, and Mikhail Grabovski has given them a two-way play-driving centre to support John Tavares. The biggest revelation though has been Ryan Strome, who has been one of the NHL’s most efficient even strength scorers this season.
  • No Repeats – The Canucks aren’t exactly playing strong hockey of late, but the last time they played host to the New York Islanders was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Vancouver took a 3-0 lead into the 3rd period before being outscored 7-1 in the final frame and suffering one of the worst 3rd period collapses in franchise history. While that’s extremely unlikely to happen again, this Isles team is even more dangerous than that one.
  • Eddie’s Revenge – In goal for that historic game was Eddie Lack, who will get a bit of an unexpected start tonight with Miller taking a well-deserved night off. Vancouver has been among the worst teams in the NHL at 5-on-5 of late as their score adjusted Corsi is 27th in the NHL over the last 10 games, so they’ve needed to lean on their goalie in this most recent stretch. To his credit, Miller has responded well and given Vancouver goaltending as strong as you can ask for. Lack will need equally as good tonight to shut down the high powered Islanders and get his revenge.

Gameday Reading

  • orcasfan

    Kudos to this blogger for being a little more timely with the GDTs so far in 2015.

    “To his credit, Miller has responded well and given Vancouver goaltending as strong as you can ask for.”

    No…

  • Just a quick question about score adjusted corsi%: you have them listed here as 49.2, 19th in the league, but when I checked on war-on-ice it actually has them listed at 50.2 (19th in the league) for score adjusted. Their corsi% in all situations is listed at 49.1 (21st in the league), though. Are you getting your numbers from a different source, or am I just misreading the information? I only ask because, while neither figure is that confidence inspiring, it would feel a lot more encouraging if the Canucks were breaking slightly above even, rather than hanging slightly below.

  • I had mentally blocked that debacle from last season, but this preview brought it up again and a actually vomited in my mouth a bit, thinking about moral victories and GMMG’s goatee….