You have to hand it to the Canucks: they don't just lose, they lose in ways that are so punishing and demoralizing it drains the life from you. They head into the heart of Brooklyn with the news that Jannik Hansen is now on IR (shoulder) meaning the injury happened either from the Morgan Rielly hit, or when he went to sort out Nazem Kadri for his hit on Daniel Sedin. Michael Chaput has been called up from Utica to take his place, and will remain with the team for at least the next game against the Rangers. After that, it depends on the severity of the injury to Hansen, but this is terrible news for a team already without Chris Tanev (though Alexander Edler is on the ice this morning).
They're taking on a team that is going through a lot of the same issues as the Canucks tonight. The Islanders find themselves near the bottom of their division, with mounting injuries and a frustration felt by the fan base that the team's management hasn't done enough to improve the team. Also, they hate their coach. A lot.
|Lost 7||Streak||OT 2
||Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
||Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
|7.7 (30)||Power Play %||11.4 (24)|
|84.8 (8)||Penalty Kill %||78.3 (24)|
|49.1 (20)||Faceoff Win %||48.8 (22)|
||Shooting %||9.3 (12)|
||Corsi For %||44.8 (30)
Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com
Just wander through Islanders twitter and there's a feeling of familiarity. The name's changed, but the song remains the same. They even have a prized free agent signing who has been an absolute bust so far in Andrew Ladd. This is a team that is frustrating the hell out of their fans, and let's face it: however bad we think we have it here, we have nothing on the crap the Islanders have put their fans through over the last couple decades.
The Islanders start off their day by announcing that D Travis Hamonic will be out 4-6 weeks after suffering an injury in their Saturday tilt with the Oilers. They've called up Adam Pelech in his place. Jaroslav Halak will get the start for the Isles, who have lost two straight in OT.
This is the likely lineup you'll see from them tonight:
Josh Bailey – John Tavares – Cal Clutterbuck
Andrew Ladd – Ryan Strome – Anthony Beauvillier
Anders Lee – Brock Nelson – Jason Chimera
Nikolay Kulemin – Casey Cizikas – Shane Prince
Thomas Hickey – Johnny Boychuk
Nick Leddy – Adam Pelech
Calvin de Haan – Dennis Seidenberg
Ryan Miller should be in again tonight for the Canucks, who will be doing some shuffling of their lines with the loss of Hansen. For a team struggling to score, taking the guy who has been one of the few offensive catalysts this season. It's a good thing for the Canucks they even have Miller, as he somehow received 2 game misconducts for the melee Saturday night, and I honestly was surprised the league even threw the Canucks this bone.
So what happens now? The Canucks once again find themselves mired in a long streak, and again not receiving any justice from the League's DoPS after a Sedin got run. Will they respond? I guess if they were going to break out of this slump, this is likely the game they could do it in, against a team as bad as they are. The thing we've learned about the Canucks so far is we should not underestimate this team's ability to lose. We're at the point now where you can say one of the positives is that they haven't lost 10-0. Yet.
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Loui Eriksson
Markus Granlund – Brandon Sutter – Alexandre Burrows
Sven Baertschi – Bo Horvat – Jake Virtanen
Michael Chaput – Brendan Gaunce – Derek Dorsett
Ben Hutton – Eric Gudbranson
Luca Sbisa – Philip Larsen
Troy Stecher – Nikita Tryamkin
This is a guess at how they'll line up tonight, and the problem then becomes Edler. If he's back, who leaves? After how well Stecher and Tryamkin played Saturday night, they can't possibly sit one of these guys when the tire fire tag team of Luca Sbisa and Philip Larsen is a thing, right? Dammit. It's probably gonna be Stecher.
While you wait for this game tonight, you should check out this blog from our old pal The Stanchion. He's been running the EA Sports NHL 17 simulation and good lord, it's pretty damn scary.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
In honour of tonight's tilt, we pay tribute to Brooklyn's own ANTHRAX. They've done a ton of covers themselves over the years, and one thing I like (even if the results aren't always that good) is that they're fearless when it comes to choosing non-metal songs to rework. Also found a pretty good version of 'Indians' done up by German death metal act Night In Gales that you might dig. I also tossed in this glorious DRI cover from the 'Inside Out' single: 'Snap/I'd Rather Be Sleeping'.
Finally, some old school Anthrax from old school kings Deceased, with a rip-snortin' version of 'Deathrider' off the 'Fistful Of Metal' album.