While I don't feel the last game was as "OH MY GOD WE WILL GET DESTROYED IF WE PLAY ST LOUIS IN THE PLAYOFFS" as some, it was far from a great game from an understandably tired Canucks team, missing some very key components, especially on the back end. This team is going to need a better defensive effort, and that means little things, for example not having Cam Barker in the lineup. Realizing that they have to play smart against the douchebaggery the Blues ran all night will be another thing, and one would hope we're not getting a preview of just how little the officials will be calling in the playoffs. Blues players were given free reign on interference and extra little hacks and chops, and if you watch the replay of the tying goal, it's all started when Backes interferes with Barker at the blueline. One bright side is that the power play seems to be emerging from a season-long slumber, and wouldn't a functioning man advantage be a treat in the postseason?
No word yet if Kevin Bieksa will be ready to slot back in, and if that's the case it's likely we'll see Derek Joslin get a look on defence tonight for the Canucks. Joslin was called up yesterday from Worchester of the AHL, and has over 100 games of NHL experience. While anyone expecting Chris Tanev Mark II from Joslin is going to be disappointed, this seems as good a time as any to look at a player who could potentially be called on in case of injuries heading into the postseason. And while a better defensive effort is a must, continued contributions from the back end on the scoresheet would be nice as well. The Canucks are an impressive 15-3-3 when they get a goal from a defenceman.
Dallas is fairly healthy at the moment as they push to make the postseason, and they'll be helped by getting Kari Lehtonen back in the lineup. He's missed the last 3 with a groin injury, and you may remember he left with an injury the last time these teams met as well. Might not be a bad idea to get him moving a lot, see how well he's healed up, eh? One guy the Canucks will need to keep an eye on is Grandpa Ray Whitney, who's been ridiculously hot of late, with 3 goals and 6 assists in his last 5 games. Overall, this one should have a similar feel to Tuesday's game in St Louis, and with a little more rest, the Canucks should be ready to punch their playoff ticket.
Over easy, baby...
If you didn't tear up a little during that anthem in Boston last night, you're a heartless bastard. Pretty awesome stuff, and a good game too, until Cody Hodgson came along and ruined it for everyone, thus proving the Canucks made the right choice in shuffling him off to Buffalo... The Canucks aren't the only ones who can clinch tonight, as the Toronto Maple Leafs will attempt to make the postseason for the first time in what seems like eons. If you're not able to watch the game, you will know when this actually happens when Twitter crashes... There's a ton of interesting games on tonight, with the aforementioned Leafs trying to stop the Islanders improbable playoff juggernaut, while Florida looks to crush the Rangers dreams. Montreal takes on Tampa, Ottawa faces Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals, and in a huge game, the Flyers try and keep their slim hopes alive and not let themselves go down in history as the team that let Martin Brodeur get past 666 wins. Winnipeg will be battling hard to make the playoffs and have all 4 Eastern Canadian teams in the dance, and a win against Carolina will help that... In the West St Louis plays Phoenix, San Jose faces Minnesota in a game that the Canucks will be watching closely, with the Wild just 4 back for the division lead, and in what should be an amazing game, the Columbus Blue Jackets look to put some distance between themselves and the Detroit Red Wings for the 8h and final spot as they are in LA to take on their BFF's in the Kings.
KICKASS METAL TUNE OF THE DAY
I've been a fan of these guys for a long, long time now, and though they've had to endure a number of lineup changes, the vision of Omega Crom mainman Johnny Ketlo stays true. These guys just ooze pure metal. They have a new album coming out soon, in the meantime from their last disc, here's 'Battlefield' and check em out at http://www.omegacrom.com