The Canucks are set to wrap up their homestand tonight as the Phoenix Coyotes roll in. The Coyotes were able to slink out of Edmonton last night with a 3-1 win, and we will either get a tired Ilya Bryzgalov, or former Canucks backup Jason Labarbera tonight in net for the desert dogs. Both teams are hot right now, the Coyotes have won 4 straight, the Canucks have rattled off 7 in a row. Something has to give. The Canucks today will also find out the severity of the eye injury suffered by Manny Malholtra. Very concerned first for his well being, and secondly for the impact of losing the best faceoff man in the NHL as the Canucks head towards the playoffs.
I suppose things could be worse. Think about Phoenix fans. They're heading into the post-season with the knowledge that this could be their last season in the desert. It's gotta be a horrible feeling. Not gonna lie, I love the thought of a team in Winnipeg, and for the most part hockey has been a dismal failure in Arizona. The amount of money lost by the franchise since they moved makes the money the Jets were losing downright manageable. Still, I do feel bad for those who have supported this team through thick and thin. Perhaps the move is inevitable, but you've been done no favours by Emperor Bettman and his steadfast insistence that everything was alright.
An interesting stat popped up as I was doing my morning reading. 4 of the 5 Pacific Division teams are in a playoff spot right now. The Canucks' record against these teams in the last 15 meetings? 13-1-1. Yes, the potential of losing Malholtra hurts, but this team still has a lot of weapons at it's disposal. Victor Oreskovich has been recalled, but the exact placement of lines 2 through 4 is still unclear. Though I wouldn't be shocked if the Canucks took a night off, this team really has been motivated, and with one of their goals crossed off the to do list they made during the summer, they may also be using the next few games to send messages to Western Conference opponents: Not this time. The cup is going to be ours.
This bad news for Malholtra is good news for Chris Higgins. He's looked good so far in limited minutes, and you can expect to see more of him in the remaining 10 games. He may not be a straight up replacement for Malholtra, but if they get good news on the severity of the injury, he could fill the hole left by the Canucks unsung hero this season.
Scrambled Egg Wraps
A crazy night as the shuffling for playoff spots continues... in the West, Chicago got embarrassed by Dallas 5-0. Corey Crawford was pulled after giving up 3 goals on 13 shots. The loss dropped them to 7th place, with 3 games against their possible first round opponent Detroit Red Wings looming in the distance. Missing the playoffs is a very real possibility for the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Nashville and Calgary both won, the Preds are in 9th, one point behind the 8th place Flames. Toronto and New Jersey both lost, dealing serious blows to their playoff hopes, and Minnesota is pretty much done after dropping a 3-2 decision to San Jose... No further discipline from the NHL to Tampa's Vincent Lecavalier and Montreal's PK Subban after the two traded slashes last night. Subban recieved a minor while Vinny got 5 and a game. Meanwhile we await work on the fate of Nashville's Patrik Hornqvist, who got 5 and a game for elbowing Boston's Tyler Seguin. Fortunately Seguin was not injured. Unfortunately it has given every Bruins fan with a blog free license to mock Montreal fans by calling for Hornqvist's expulsion from the league. They're not quite as funny as they think they are...
WAACH 'Cast's Band Of The Day- LICH KING
Straight outta Amherst, Massachusetts is a thrash act that has their tongue firmly planted in cheek. And no, they're not named after a certain video game character. Their love of the roots of thrash shines through in their music, and they are best known for the track "ATTACK OF THE WRATH OF THE WAR OF THE DEATH OF THE STRIKE OF THE SWORD OF THE BLOOD OF THE BEAST". Heh.
And finally... you knew it was coming: 8 Bit Lich King!