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GAME DAY: Canucks vs Islanders

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After that late-game collapse against the Kings, the Canucks needed to put together a better effort against Detroit Saturday, and they got exactly that. Not a dominant performance, but a game where players stepped up. Tonight, another challenge from an Eastern beast, as the resurgent New York Islanders are in town, having shown everyone that they're for r... what? They lost to the Oilers? BAHAHAHAHA!!!

Rich Lam/Getty Images
Time Tuesday 7:00 PM PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series 0-0
Last Meeting
7-4 Islanders Mar 10/14
The Enemy Lighthouse Hockey Scoring Leaders D. Sedin: 8-27-35
J. Tavares 17-19-36

Canucks
CATEGORY
Islanders
22-12-3 SEASON RECORD 26-12-1
47 Points 53
5th Conference Position 4th
Won 1
Streak Lost 1
2.89 (11)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
295 (17)
2.62 (18)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.77 (21)
21.0 (9) Power Play % 20.3 (12)
87.2 (3) Penalty Kill % 76.1 (27)
48.4 (23) Faceoff Win % 47.9 (24)
10.5 (19) PIM / GP 9.4 (10)
49.1 (22) Corsi For % 53.2 (4)
100.6 (11) PDO 98.9 (24)

It was in my eyes the most pathetic moment in a season to forget, and one that should have seen John Tortorella escorted from the building by Rogers Arena security at the end of the game. Up 3-0, they allowed the Islanders back in the game, scoring 4 3rd period goals. A Chris Tanev goal tied it up, but Matt Martin scored just 10 seconds later. For a team with a history of collapse, this was historic. Truly embarrassing. 7 goals in a single period, and Mike Gillis allows Tortorella to keep his job? That was as pathetic as the loss. The question tonight is simple: Who will be more motivated? The Canucks, looking for revenge after that shameful loss, or the Islanders, who had their own embarrassing defeat Sunday night as they got outworked and outplayed by the lowly Oilers in a 5-2 loss?

While the Canucks put together one of their better efforts of the season Saturday night in that 4-1 win, so naturally they're shuffling the lines in advance of tonight's tilt with the Isles. Alex Burrows, who has probably been the best player for the Canucks the last couple weeks not named Ryan Miller, moves back to the 1st line, while Radim Vrbata drops to line 2 so he can try and get Nick Bonino and Chris Higgins going, while Jannik Hansen moves alongside Bo Horvat and Derek Dorsett on the 4th line.

In a move that's not really shocking, Eddie Lack is getting the start tonight against the Islanders, leaving Thursday's much-heralded return of Roberto Luongo and the Florida Panthers to Vancouver to Ryan Miller. Unfortunately, we won't get to see former Canucks 1st rounder Michael Grabner, as he's still on injured reserve. The Canucks are pretty healthy, with Dan Hamhuis still on the IR but inching closer to a return, and Tom Sestito safely tucked away on the other side of the continent.

While the Islanders have some pretty impressive offensive threats in John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and 15 goal scorer Brock Nelson, the Canucks will want to make sure and take advantage of the Isles penalty killing, which is among the worst in the NHL. The special teams for the Canucks might just be the biggest story this year, so much better than last year, and perhaps a sign why they kept Glen Gulutzan around after last season.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Reunited 80's speed metallers TOXIC released 2 brand new songs on YouTube recently, and it sounds like the upcoming album 'In Humanity' is gonna be a fine return to form for them.

Impromptu Drinking Games Rules

drink

- 1 Drink: To wash away the taste of that game last year.

- 1 Drink: If anyone even mentions the game Thursday, because it totally won't happen...

- 2 Drinks: Footage of the 82 Cup run...

- 2 Drinks: For a Bob Nystrom reference

- 3 Drinks: Everytime the phrase 'The Islanders Are For Real' is used

- 3 drinks: If you giggle when they say Charles Wang. Grow up!