Photo credit: canucks.com
The good news for the Vancouver Canucks is, tonight’s opponents aren’t the San Jose Sharks.
The bad news is, the Canucks haven’t beaten tonight’s opponents, the Montreal Canadiens, at Rogers Arena since October 7, 2009.
To complicate things for the Canucks, they’ll have to go against the storied Habs without top defensemen, Alex Edler, who was suspended for 3 games
because Tomas Hertl lowered his head and skated it into Edler’s shoulder for his head shot on Tomas Hertl. Former Habs defenseman, Yannick Weber, who has been playing as a winger, is expected to move back and replace Edler’s spot on d.
Who to watch
Second-year players, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, are 1st and 4th in Habs’ team scoring, respectively, picking up nicely where they left off last season. Gallagher, especially, has been a revelation. Not much was expected of the diminutive, former Vancouver Giant who was selected in the 5th round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft – only two picks earlier, the Canucks selected Adam Polasek – but all Gallagher has done at the NHL level is produce; in 48 career games, he has 33 points, including 18 goals.
6’3″ Canucks power forward (in the making, we hope), Zack Kassian, is expected to make his season debut tonight after serving an 8-game suspension for breaking Sam Gagner’s jaw with his stick. Kassian was on a line with David Booth and Brad Richardson during the morning skate.
Besides Edler, Alex Burrows and Jordan Schroeder remain out of the Canucks lineup due to injuries.
Habs captain, Brian Gionta, will miss tonight’s game due to a family emergency.
What to watch
For all the ups and downs of the Canucks’ early season, one thing that has been consistent is their penalty-kill. After 5 games, their PK has been perfect, killing all 18 powerplays against them.