Canucks should be energized playing the Oilers tonight
Alain Vigneault has been saying that the best Canucks players have been practicing early and with a vengeance since they returned home from a gruelling road trip. They would be Luongo and the Sedins, who have not consistently been the best guys since game 1.
Since opening night, the Canucks have surrendered 13 first period goals over the past six games. They have surrendered a first period goal in each of those six games, and only in the game against Detroit last Thursday did they limit the opposition to less than two first period goals. Last season, the Canucks had a record of 3-11-1 when allowing more than one first period goal. Conversely, they had a record of 20-11-5 when they did not allow a single first period marker by the opposition.At some point the Canucks are going to tighten up defensively. I just don't know when.
Jason Krog is going to receive a massive chance to once again prove himself at the NHL level, playing on the Canucks' top power play unit with the Twins.
"They [the Sedins] have such chemistry and seem to know where each other is, but they also are very good at getting the other guy the puck, too, so my job is going to be whenever there is a 50-50 puck, get it, get it to them and after that get open and be an option for them."Yeah yeah. That's what every guy who plays with them says. We just need somebody to be an Anson Carter one of these days. Steve Bernier was tabbed as Carter 2, but has only shown moments of brilliance at an inconsistent level. He has 2 goals and 4 points in 7 games with only 11 shots. That won't cut it. He has been demoted down to the 2nd power play unit with Kesler, Wellwood, Raymond and co. Not a bad place to be either. Maybe he'll click there. I believe Pyatt is off all power play units.
The continuing saga of Kyle Wellwood.
Now here's a guy that I am really pulling for. There is a Metallica song on their new album that really reminds me of Wellwood. It's called Broken, Beat and Scarred. The first lines are
Then you rise again
What don't kill you makes you more strong.
Here's hoping Wellwood puts out another fine performance and actually breathes some life to that 2nd line. Make us forget that we even have a guy named Demitra, for a month or so anyway!
The Oilers have a bit of injury woes themselves right now.
-Shaun Horcoff is questionable for tonight's game after colliding with Colorado's Ben Guite in the Oilers' 4-1 loss to the Avs.
-Steve Staios has missed the last 2 games for personal reasons.
-Fernando Pisani is day-to-day with back issues.
There are a few Oilers who like to start scoring:
Sam Gagner: 5 games played, no points and 15 shots. The sophomore jinx is alive...for now. A player with that kind of talent has to come around. Not against us hopefully.
Kyle Brodziak: 6 games played, no points and 6 shots.
Ales Hemsky- 6 games played, no goals and 5 assists.
More Oilers stats here.
There are murmurs of Darcy Hordichuk and Rick Rypien returning tonight. That would be a good thing. Those are character guys who showed some chemistry together on the 4th line.
Glass Joe Salo is day to day with a sore groin.
The Canucks probably shouldn't try to match the Oilers' speed game tonight. Not all of our guys can do that. For once I'd like to see Vancouver play a better puck possession game, slow the Oilers down in the neutral zone and make them turn the puck over, and not get confused in their own zone.
Goalie match up
Matt Garon continually impresses me. He looks like Luongo in stature but he's more agile and flexible. He alone could stop us tonight. Luongo needs to be that guy and has not been yet.
It's going to be a great game. I love watching these 2 teams go head to head. Both teams are coming off losses. The Oilers are finishing a 3 game road trip. The Canucks should have lots of energy playing at home again and having not played since Tuesday.
4-3 Canucks I'd say. Possible shootout again.
T Tags: Canucks+Oilers+preview October+25+2008 Wellwood Krog+promoted Sedins stats