Let's never talk about Saturday again. Wasted hat tricks make me stabby.
In truth, the fact Vancouver has managed to keep pace with everyone in the Pacific not named the Kings is remarkable. With some much needed rest following tonight's game and the news they'll get Dan Hamhuis back shortly after the ASG break, February is shaping up to be as pivotal a month that this franchise has had in recent memory. String some wins together, stay in the playoff hunt and they'll be shopping at the deadline. Conversely, they could sputter, eat up another injury or three and February 29th could see a lot of familiar faces head out the door.
Nashville is sort of in the same boat, on the outside looking in on the wild card spots. The Preds are no joke, once again sporting a dangerous, efficient defense with a rag tag group of forwards ahead of them and taking Johansen off Torts' hands is a win all around. Yet still they're 4-5-1 in their last ten, four of their top five scorers are on the wrong side of the +/-, Rinne looks like anything but a Vezina finalist and Mike Ribiero is still miraculously employed.
Human Guinea Pig Formations
Daniel Sedin - Brandon Sutter - Jannik Hansen
Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Radim Vrbata
Alexandre Burrows - Linden Vey - Emerson Etem
Derek Dorsett - Adam Cracknell - Jake Virtanen
Alexander Edler - Chris Tanev
Ben Hutton - Luca Sbisa
Matt Bartkowski - Alex Biega
Kevin Fiala - Ryan Johansen - James Neal
Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith
Miikka Salomaki - Mike Fisher - Calle Jarnkrok
Eric Nystrom - Paul Gaustad - Cody Bass
Roman Josi - Shea Weber
Barret Jackman - Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm - Petter Granberg
1. Can Sutter handle 1LC duties for an entire period? An entire game?
2. Can Vancouver keep Josi, Weber and Ekholm off the scoresheet?
3. Will Hansen and/or Horvat continue to play hero when the team needs it?
I'm tempted to say the roof collapses on both these floundering teams, but that's not nice. Vey has been getting plenty of 'stached attention on the road trip so let's say the GWG glory falls to him while somewhere else on this planet Cody Hodgson curls himself into the fetal position and shakes his fist at the sky.
Yeah, something like that. More or less.