Pregame: Canucks visit the Legion of Doom.. err I mean the Blackhawks
December 3rd, 2010
Canucks at Blackhawks
Puck Drop 5:30 pacific time at United Center in Chicago
Canucks: 13-7-3, 29 points. (1st in Northwest Division)
Blackhawks: 14-11-2, 30 points. (2nd in Central Division)
Canucks Statistic Leaders:
Goals: D. Sedin (14)
Assists:H. Sedin (27)
Points: H. Sedin (29)
PIM: R.Rypien (31)
SV %:C. Schneider (.936%)
g.a.g.:C. Schneider (2.08)
Wins:R. Luongo (10)
Chicago Statistic Leaders:
Goals:P. Sharp (16)
Assists:P. Kane (16)
Points:P. Sharp (29)
PIM:N. Bonyton (28)
SV %: C.Crawford: (.914)
g.a.g: C.Crawford (2.38)
Wins: M. Turco (8 )
Canucks Lines, D. Pairings:
D.Sedin, H.Sedin, A. Burrows
M.Raymond, R.Kesler, J. Tambellini
R.Torres, M. Malhotra, M. Samuelsson
T.Glass, J. Perreault, J. Hansen
C. Ehrhoff, A. Edler
K. Bieksa, D. Hamhuis
K. Ballard, A. Alberts
Canuck Injuries/ Scratches:
R. Rypien (personal leave)
S. Salo (Achilles tendon)
G. Desbiens (hand)
Last game: Canucks trounced the Calgary Flames 7-2. Mason Raymond had a hat trick, while Jeff Tambellini and Ryan Kesler had two points each. Roberto Luongo stopped 18 of 20 shots.
Superman has Lex Luthor, Sonic has Dr. Robotnik, and the Canucks, obviously have that pesky group from chicago. However, I dare not call this a rivalry, because until the Canucks starting winning, and I mean start now, this really is just Chicago domination.
The Canucks travel to the windy city to take on the Blackhawks today at 5:30 pacific time, and in true holiday season, the last game between these two teams must be dancing like sugarplums in the Canucks heads.
Seven goals against. One goal for. Two goalies in three periods of work, and the Canucks were obliterated at home, AT HOME, by the Blackhawks.
It was supposed to be different this season. Ladd was gone. Versteeg too. Most importantly, Big Buff had taken his show to Atlanta; and yet the Canucks looked like the Washington Generals out there.
Just be thankful it wasn't a playoff game, my fellow Vancouverites.
The Canucks have lost both games they've played against the boys from the windy city, by the way.
Thats the bad news. The good news is, that game was six days ago. The Canucks have Keith Ballard at near to or 100 percent, Kevin Bieksa looks to be over his pneuomnia, and the Canucks have a new second line that has been befuddling opposing teams for three games now. The Canucks are also on the road, so that means a little bit of pressure has to have been taken off of them.
They enter tonights contest on a three game win streak, the last two in spectacular fashion; first they blew up the Sharks better than Sheriff Brody, and on Wednesday they made the Flames look like Oilers. (Funnily enough, after the Oilers eastern road trip, they are like the Flames! Both are tied for 14th!)
The Blackhawks are also starting Marty Turco, who has looked horrible at worst, and average at best. He left in a couple of softies the last time these teams played.
Also, Marian Hossa will be out of the lineup with a knee injury. You gotta think that this is the game to win for the 'nucks.
Tonight, in order to win, the Canucks will need superb play from whomever is in net, (early indication suggests Luongo) and scoring from their second line that has looked fantastic since it's been put together. Ryan Kesler, Jeff Tambellini and Mason Raymond were the catalysts in the Canucks 7-2 beatdown of Calgary two nights ago, generating scoring chances through a vigilant forecheck and blazing speed. Raymond had four points including the second hat trick of the year, Kesler had two assists, and Tambellini had a goal and an assist. Thats 8 points between the three of them, kiddies.
Chicago has been playing subpar hockey this season. They haven't looked like the dominant Cup team of last season, but everyone knows they save their best for games against the Vancouver squad.
Hopefully the Canucks can call Father Merrin in before the game and exorcise these demons that have plagued the group against the 'Hawks.
So how will this game be? Will it be the original Superman movie? (Outstanding, thrilling, entertaining) Or will it be more like Superman 64. (The worst thing ever, an abortion, a waste of money)
I'd bring up stats to compare these two teams, but, hey, I'm from Vancouver and I don't want to spend the night in the fetal position, softly sobbing. Instead, I'll bring up the only positive stat I can think of; The Canucks have to be due.
The Canucks are 8-0-1 with Jeff Tambellini in the lineup... Alex Bolduc was assigned to Manitoba for conditioning... Peter Schaefer has retired.