Pregame: Canucks host Ducks
The Canucks look to rebound from a poor effort in St Louis, as they host the struggling Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night at 7 pm, pacific time.
They will be lacking some offensive for a while, as Mikael Samuelsson will miss at least a week of action with what the team is calling a mild concussion. The team called up Jonas Andersson, acquired as a part of the Shane O Brien deal to Nashville to skate on the fourth line in place of Joel Perreault, who was sent back down to Manitoba.
Canucks last game: The Canucks let two points slip through their fingers as they underestimated an injury depleted St. Louis squad, and lost 3-2. St. Louis was missing Andy McDonald, David Perron and TJ oshie, but still, the Canucks, and Roberto Luongo, surrendered three goals and looked sluggish, apathetic, and like the second best team on the ice.
Ducks Last Game: 18 year old super rookie Cam Fowler scored in the tenth round of the shootout to beat the Edmonton Oilers. The Ducks are playing the second night of a back to back against the Canucks, something the home squad will look to take advantage of. The Ducks aren't playing horrible hockey, but it could be a lot better. They sit third in the Pacific Division, and if the playoffs started today, they would be in seventh place.
For the Canucks to win: Vancouver will have to be ready for this game, something that didn't happen in St. Louis. The first line will have to generate more consistent scoring chances, the second line will have to keep up their improved play, especially with Mason Raymond drawing back into the lineup. The third line, now minus Mikael Samuelsson, will have to be better defensively. The fourth line will have to adjust to new callup Jonas Andersson in place of Joel Perreault, who was demoted back to Manitoba.
The defense has to play better, pure and simple. It's time for Keith Ballard to step up his game, as does Christian Ehrhoff, who has been slightly better as of late, but needs to be as good as he knows he can be.
On the plus side, Kevin Bieksa is looking better each and every game. Perhaps those persistant trade rumors have finally lit the fire underneath him?
Roberto Luongo is playing solid hockey, and just needs to continue to do so. Not every game is going to be a 32 save shutout at the United Center, he just needs to make the saves he needs to.
D. Sedin, H. Sedin, A. Burrows
M. Raymond, R. Kesler, J. Tambellini
R. Torres, M. Malhotra, J. Hansen
T. Glass, A. Bolduc, J. Andersson
C. Ehrhoff, A. Edler
K. Bieksa, D. Hamhuis
K. Ballard, A. Alberts
Vancouver: G. Desbiens (hand), S. Salo (Achilles), M. Samuelsson (concussion), R. Rypien (personal leave)
Anaheim: Aaron Voros is a game time decision with the flu.
Notes: Despite pledging that Cory Schneider would get 20-25 starts this season,
Roberto Luongo will get his 9th straight start tonight. Schneider hasn't played since Nov. 17th.. Cory Perry and Ryan Kesler will meet for the first time following their Nov. 1st scuffle. The two don't like each other. Expect sparks to fly!