Canucks Army GDT #51 – Canucks vs. Penguins

After dropping their last game by a disappointing 5-1 score to the San Jose Sharks, the Vancouver Canucks wrap up their home stand tonight against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens enter the night having won two games in a row and sitting atop the Metropolitan division, but their lead is tenuous at best, so they’ll surely be motivated to put forth a strong effort tonight.

Read past the jump for a preview.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST

TV: CBC

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Courtsey of DailyFaceoff.com

Defensive Pairings
Alexander Edler 
Alexander Edler
Yannick Weber 
Yannick Weber
Dan Hamhuis 
Dan Hamhuis
Luca Sbisa 
Luca Sbisa
Ryan Stanton 
Ryan Stanton
Adam Clendening 
Adam Clendening

Chris Tanev is a game-time decision. Frank Corrado will be out. Brad Richardson remains injured. Zack Kassian will re-join the lineup after being a frequent healthy scratch, no word yet on who comes out. Ryan Miller will start in goal.

The Penguins, who have been crushed by some unfortunate injuries this season, will be without Christian Ehrhoff (concussion), Blake Comeau (wrist injury), Olli Maatta (cancer, mumps, and shoulder surgery), and Pascal Dupuis (blood clot in lung). Thomas Greiss will start in goal.

Head to Head

G51 v PIT

Storylines

  • Kassi-in – Zack Kassian will make his return to Vancouver’s lineup tonight, though it remains to be seen who comes out. Kassian has had his struggles this season, and they haven’t been helped by being yo-yoed in and out of the lineup, but he’s also suffering from a brutal PDO and should see some more pucks start going in the opposing net for him. Kassian both generates and gives up scoring chances at the highest levels among all Canucks, and given his benchings, it’s fairly obvious he’ll have to play nearly flawlessly to earn the trust of his coach.
  • Olympic Rematch – It was five years ago this month that Sidney Crosby took a pass from Jarome Iginla and fired a quick shot through Ryan Miller’s legs to win Canada the olympic hockey gold medal in the friendly confines of Rogers Arena. Crosby and Miller have played each other since then, but never back in Vancouver. Miller is 1-4-0 in his last 5 starts with an 0.874 save percentage.
  • Willie Wants More – Willie Desjardins looks to be getting frustrated with his team, as he demanded more intensity from the players in Friday’s practice. The Canucks looked disengaged and out-classed at times against San Jose, but part of that was simply being out-played by a better 5-on-5 team. You’d like to see a better and more consistent effort out of an aging Vancouver team, and they’ll need one tonight against a strong Penguins club, but one begins to wonder just how much more there is for this team to give.

Gameday Reading

  • acg5151

    Not that it wasn’t already obvious, but another discrete loss tonight should provide the final nail in how this team handles the trade deadline. An inability to fight for a playoff position while you have home ice advantage against numerous teams on their second game of a back to back is simply inexcusable.

  • acg5151

    The D has taken some hits, but the replacements have to step up. The game goes on.

    If the Canucks can’t bring a full 3 periods of intensity versus Sid and the Pens, then we all know how this story will end. The Canucks can’t just rely on the Kings and other teams talking to grab the 8th spot. For the first time this season I really don’t have a lot of optimism.

    Prove me wrong Boys.

  • wojohowitz

    Pittsburgh is playing great right now. 2-0 in Edmonton and 4-0 in Calgary. If the Canucks are going to lose anyways I`d like to see a lot more Kassian – like 20 minutes of icetime on a regular shift and tell him not to worry about mistakes – just play his game because right now the Canucks are lacking one big thing – a go for broke attitude.

    But we are not going to see that are we. We are going to see Willie D put out the twins and Burrows. Higgins, Vrbata and Bonino…and we are going to lose.