All kinds of interesting story lines tonight as the Canucks host Tampa at Rogers Arena. You have the buzz over the Canucks pulling the plug on Nicklas Jensen, who was traded to the New York Rangers yesterday for Emerson Etem. The trade seemed to come out of nowhere, and I am not sure if they were shopping Jensen, or if Etem was someone they had targeted. Oh, wait.
Soon, the entire roster will be nothing but Medicine Hat Tigers alumni.
There's also Daniel Sedin nearing a pretty important team record, as he now sits just 2 goals behind Trevor Linden for all time goals by a Canuck. A hat trick would be one hell of a way to establish the new mark, don't you think? That leads us to the next question: with Jannik Hansen the latest victim of the Injury Ninja, who will be on the left side of Daniel and brother Henrik Sedin? We'll also see Ryan Miller return to the lineup, along with Jake Virtanen, who should be full of piss and vinegar tonight as he looks to silence some of his critics following the WJC debacle.
We also remember the last time these two teams played. The biggest story of that night was the Canucks PK, as they went 9 for 10 against the Lightning. We also had a very late embellishment fine tacked on to Hansen, days after the game which was without a doubt one of the most disgraceful officiating performances the NHL has seen in years. I would say we won't have to worry about this happening again, but that would imply I have even an ounce of faith in the competence of NHL officiating.
The Lightning are coming off a weird win in Edmonton last night, as they battled back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Oilers. The weirdness came in as each Tampa goal went in behind Cam Talbot after deflecting off one of his own players. That's so Oilers, right? The Lightning needed that win, as they still sit one point out of the last Wild Card spot in the East, while the Canucks are 4 points back of Nashville for the last spot in the West.
Given that Ben Bishop started against Edmonton last night, we might see the Lightning put Andrei Vasilevskiy in the crease against the Canucks, while Miller might be announced as Vancouver's keeper tonight, but it won't be a shock to see them give Jacob Markstrom one more start, before giving the reins back to Miller for the game against Florida on Monday before the Canucks embark on another ridiculously long Eastern road swing. We likely won't see Etem in the lineup til then as well.
FRESH HOT LINKS
- GM JB on Etem and Hansen
- The Canucks aren't interested in tanking *wink wink*
- Thomas Drance likes the trade for Etem
- A nice look at Ben Hutton's impressive rookie season so far
- Zack Kassian is back playing hockey, knowing this is his last chance
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
It's been a few years since their last album, but with vocalist Mike Howe rejoining the band, I am excited to hear the new offering from METAL CHURCH. Here's the first video off their upcoming album 'XI'.