We saw glimpses of what we've said all along Tuesday night: When this Canucks team wants to be, they are still the team that's won 1st overall the previous two seasons, injuries or not. Why they can't seem to maintain this level of play is the big question. Another 3rd period of sitting on a lead, but they withstood the storm and skated away with a valuable two points. They're going up against a Phoenix Coyotes team that got shutout for 3 consecutive games until scoring twice in a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. The Canucks are going to need to be focusing on building some momentum from that Tuesday night win against what should be a very pissed off Phoenix team, and not looking ahead to a Saturday afternoon matchup against the Kings.
Andrew Gordon has been recalled from the Chicago Wolves as Zack Kassian is out of the lineup once again, and Tom Sestito's limping after Tuesday's game. With the news of David Booth's ankle injury being worse than originally suspected (A high ankle sprain with a partially torn ligament), Gordon, who has experience with the Ducks and Capitals might get a look here. He plays center and wing, has power play and penalty kill experience, and won two AHL championships with Hershey. He's one of the leaders of the Wolves, notching 16 goals so far this year, and while once again he's a band-aid, it's worth seeing what he might bring to the table.
The Coyotes are currently on the outside looking in, losers of 6 of their last 8 games, and were shutout in four of those games. Certainly puts the Canucks struggles of late in perspective, doesn't it? Should be interesting to see what happens tonight, as the Canucks have played very well at the Jobing.com arena over the last few years, while the Coyotes have won 10 of their 13 wins this season at home. One thing the Coyotes can be thankful for is that they don't have the injury woes of teams like the Canucks, as they only have Zbynek Michalek currently out of the lineup. Mike Smith is expected to get his 8th straight start in goal for Phoenix tonight. Shane Doan is currently tied with Dale Hawerchuk for all time goals scored for the organization (you know, when they were the Winnipeg Jets) and that means he'll probably score tonight, that's how we roll.
Apparently Drew Doughty was whining about Phoenix being a bunch of whiners just like those whiner Canucks in advance of Saturday afternoon's game. That's wonderful. And good on him for finally scoring a goal, so that he felt comfortable enough to get back to whining about other teams to the media, when he knew he wouldn't have to face questions about why he hadn't scored yet this season. That Saturday game feels so much like the Boston game from last year. Early start, HNIC not showing it, pre-emptive yapping from the other side. I expect a fight-filled doozy of a game, and maybe that's just what the Canucks need to get into a groove as they head into the stretch drive.
Fried mushrooms on toast...
Two headshots, two very different outcomes. Detroit's Niklas Kronwall nailed Minnesota's Charlie Coyle last night, and won't be getting a call from Brendan Shanahan, but Toronto's Joffrey Lupul will after his headshot on Tampa's Victor Hedman. Here's the two videos for you to look at and see if you agree. Kronwall got a 4 minute high-sticking penalty, while Lupul got two minutes for checking to the head.
KICKASS METAL TUNE OF THE DAY
A doubleshot for you today, first up a classic from Metal Church that kind of fits the theme of the Canucks visiting the desert, and the second a brand new one from Finnish thrashers Lost Society. One of the commenters said it best about these guys "Okay did someone freeze these guys in the 80's and thaw them out this year? wow!!" I totally agree, this is some amazing thrash metal with a real old-school vibe.