January 13 9:45 AM Update - You'll be seeing Demitra with a few less minutes tonight as he drops to the fourth line (and an angry Vigneault makes a bald joke or too). Meanwhile MySpace gets his slot next to PIM-happy Sundin, making the second line two lumbering big guys along with the fastest small guy on the team. Viggy viggy viggy...
Fun fact for today - the last three VAN/NJ meetings have been shutouts:
A year ago, Roberto Luongo hung a 5-0 goose-egg on Brodeur. In 2005-06, Brodeur beat Alex Auld 3-0 and, in 2003-04, Dan Cloutier outduelled Brodeur 4-0.
Don't expect a similar result when Clemmensen runs head long into the manchild Labarbera but who knows. We'll liveblog the taste out of the mouth of this game anyway. See you then.
I'm sorry I can't recap this past weekend anymore so then has already been done. The Blues game? AWFUL. And somehow they came out better against San Jose and still lost. Bad bounces a plenty.
And the underlying theme of Sundin sitting in the box while his team loses continues.
An aside: Raise your hand (mighty high) if you guessed, at this stage in the season, the most uplifting parts of the season would be the out of no where play of Labarbera & Wellwood combined with the career record shattering pace of Willie Mitchell? Whoever you are my friend, you deserve a cookie.
Mercifully, the missing chunk of this Vancouverian experiment looks to be close to returning. I'd reckon he stays out to after the all star break; why race him back? But if he does return hopefully that degree of confidence and swagger the team had in November will come back in earnest.
However, if he does come back, what to do with Curtis "I just got beat by Mike Grier" Sanford? Puck Rakers is already guessing where the Sandman may land (say that three times fast), including as a Blue Jacket or as a Dallas Star (Avery for Sanford? C'mon Gillis, you know an Avery/Kesler/Burrows line would be hilarious).
Clearly, if Sanford does get moved, it'll be a slight hit to the locker room where Sanford is well liked. And how can you not like a guy who is this honest?
"I was never the most talented guy or the biggest guy, obviously," said the 5-foot-10 Owen Sound, Ont. native. "It's a position that's as much about thinking as reacting. You start to over-think and analyze and you find yourself in trouble."
Damn straight. If only others - like aging Swedish mercenaries - would have such a frank take on thinking and reacting.
If Sanford goes, we wish him all the best. And, better yet, hope he can bring a solid package in return.
Up next is my adopted hometeam the NJ Devils who show up at GM Place tomorrow. What a fun time for each team:
- Both have similar records (Devils=25-15-4, Canucks=22-17-5)
- Both have lost their typically durable rockstar goalies to injuries early on
- Both pillaged the Wild FA's in the offseason (Demitra/Rolston)
- Both have their veteran mercenaries joining in midseason (Sundin/Shanahan)
- Both teams only have two gentlemen in the forty point range (both Sedins/Parise, Elias)
- Ah, but only the Devils have a RW named Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond. Hot damn dude.
Vancouver is 2-2 against the hated Atlantic division teams this year. Considering Lou and his boys are so adverse to travel, let's hope a collective Canuck team effort ensures a long trip home for them.
And Mats? STAY OUT OF THE BOX.