There was a lot to like in that last game against the Dallas Stars. Sure, there were some of the same problems that have plagued this team all season so far, like their inability to handle teams with speed, but in the end they got some timely goals from players that they need to if they want any chance of success: Bo Horvat (you know, that defensive specialist guy), Brandon Sutter and Loui Eriksson. They got the tying goal late from Troy Stecher that was downright breathtaking, and has rightly got people around the league talking about this kid, and then Markus Granlund finished them off in OT following a Sutter faceoff win.
One thing that was noticeable? The line of Horvat, Sven Baertschi and Alexandre Burrows. Burrows especially looked fast, faster than he has in a couple years, perhaps determined to show that he's got something left in the tank, whether it be for some improbable shot at making the playoffs, or attracting attention for trade deadline time. They did a fabulous job on shot supression, and probably should have had 2 goals, but as we've all learned time and time again, the kinds of goals that they waived off Sunday only count against the Canucks, not for them.
||Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
||Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
|10.2 (27)||Power Play %||21.6 (9)|
|87.0 (7)||Penalty Kill %||83.7 (11)|
|50.9 (8)||Faceoff Win %||49.8 (16)|
||Shooting %||13.9 (1)|
||Corsi For %||49.5 (15)
Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com
The Rangers shook off the loss to the Canucks last week by winning 2 more games, the most recent in Edmonton, where they got 2 from Michael Grabner (why does that name sound fam... oh, right) en route to a 3-1 win. There is some good news as far as the Canucks are concerned, as Chris Kreider is out for tonight's game. Also good? Henrik Lundqvist is getting the start. You might recall Lundqvist coming in to that game last week, and giving up 2 goals and getting tagged for the loss. Also, he's .500 over his career against the Canucks. Take those odds when you can get them these days. Expect lots of chatter about Grabner, who currently has 10 goals (all even strength, no less) for the Rangers, and how the goalscoring challenged Canucks could use a guy like that...
The more things change, the more Jake Virtanen stays the same. He's a scratch again tonight, which has many wondering just why in the hell they didn't just leave him down in Utica for a few more days. Surely Jack Skille could be bumped out of the lineup to give Virtanen an opportunity he's gotten the message that Wille D and the management wanted him to receive, right? Apparently not. No other lineup changes for the Canucks, and we should see Jacob Markstrom in goal for the Canucks. Markstrom got the win in NYC last Thursday.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
The metal world still hasn't fully come to terms with the loss of Motorhead's Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmeister. His musical legacy will live on though, and is no more apparent by the number of bands who've done tribute covers of Motorhead songs. Here's a few of my favorites for ya!