Last homestand until Mid-March -- Stars @ Canucks


UPDATE (4:39 PM): Looks like Rypien still has stomach ailments and remains sidelined, so Wellwood will center the 3rd line between Demitra and Bernier, while Samuelsson moves back up to Line 2 and Johnson centers Hordichuk and Glass, according to Dan Murphy on Twitter.

UPDATE: 3:23 PST: No Mitchell tonight. Ryan Johnson returns and punts Wellwood out of the lineup.

(Mgmt Note: Big thanks to GoodKeith for his preview help today!)

Less than 24 hours after the Poutine and Meatballs line saved a point in Oil Country, the Canucks are back at it again, facing off against Marty Turco Alex effin' Auld and the Dallas Stars. (7 PM PST, RSN's got it) Here are a couple of my notes for tonight...

WHEN IN EDMONTON... Vancouver just got back from playing the Oilers. After Dallas plays tonight they head to Edmonton for a game tomorrow. Wonder if any Canucks have any advice for Stars players this year about the best restaurants and the like.

WEST COAST BIAS...? Strangely, Henrik and Daniel were given the 2nd and 3rd stars for all NHL games played last night (Thanks to Thursday Morning Coffee for this tip), Sports Illustrated has heaped loads of praise upon Hank, and's John Buccigross has the Canucks ranked at 4th in his "Power 5" this week. Will the newfound media exposure help or hurt Vancouver in the coming days? With or without the bright lights it's still a fairly hairy home stand (Chicago Saturday Night, Buffalo Monday Night, and the ever dangerous Blues Wednesday). And that's not mentioning the fact that Saturday, we're all going to tune into HNIC to see if "I'm a ref so I'm right" MacLean has anything else to say about his treatment of the Burrows-Auger incident. Not to mention the NHL Network had something to say about last night's game and a hit THEY thought should have been whistled as a penalty, something Pat Quinn reverberated after the game. At least Vancouver will have a chance to hang their hats at home for a week. Hope nobody's cat/dog/fish/other animal dies.

BERNIER REDEMPTION -- Another game for AV to see if he was right by getting Steve Bernier back into a high profile second line position. Will it work out for the best or will Bernier's "Hands of Stone" get the best of him in the attacking zone yet again? Is this his last chance to show his stuff?

PREDICTION -- The Canucks really didn't press too much last night, but got past the desperate Oilers. Rypien may or may is not be over his stomach flu. The revolving door situation in Dallas' goal sums up the Stars' season so far: We're still alive for the playoffs, so change = good. A change in venue from the last meeting between these teams (3-1 Canucks win, Jan. 2, 2010) = not good for Dallas. 4-2, Mikael Samuelsson with the game winner.

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