Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Game Day : Canucks vs Oilers

Vancouver (4-3-1) vs Edmonton (3-2-2)
Time:     7:30pm
Where:   Rexall Place
Watch:   Sportsnet West
Listen:    630 Ched

Projected Line Combinations

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones
Paajarvi - Belanger - Gagner
Petrell - Lander - Eager

Unless something changes on game day, it looks like Linus Omark will once again be the odd man out upfront. This will be the second consecutive game he'll sit and the third time in eight games.
I understand they don't won't to break up what they feel is a winning formula but I'm not sure why they don't have Lennart Petrell or Anton Lander take a seat to get Omark back in. Yes this team has been great defensively but outside of a couple of good periods from the Horcoff line, they can't score...unless one of the three kids are involved. Is the plan to win every game 1-0 or 2-1 in a shootout? Hopefully they take a long look at it before the Capitals hit town on Thursday.

Defence Pairings

Gilbert - Smid
Whitney - Potter

Sutton - Barker


Nothing will change on the backend, so Theo Peckham will have to wait a little longer to get in. His size would usually make him an automatic against the Canucks but not at the moment.


The smart money would be on Nikolai Khabibulin getting his third consecutive start but I hope we see Devan Dubnyk against Vancouver. Couple of reasons, one is the "Bulin Wall" has had very few quality starts against the Canucks since coming to Edmonton but more importantly, allowing Dubnyk to play the Caps after sitting out a full week between starts seems a little unfair. At this point, they can't make a bad decision, no matter who they decide to go with.

  • Daniel and Henrik are leading the way again, with 12 and 10 points respectively, but the next closest forward is Chris Higgins with five points. Getting Ryan Kesler back is a huge upgrade but Vancouver seem to still be in last years Stanley Cup final mode and are unable to score goals.
  • With Vancouver playing Wednesday night against the St.Louis Blues, you would think the goalies will split the two games. That being the case, I am fairly confident that we will see Roberto Luongo in goal against Edmonton. While Luongo is suffering through his annual October struggles, he always finds a way to beat the Oilers...regardless of how good his game is heading into the contest.
  • Edmonton must keep a close eye on Sami Salo when Vancouver hits the power play. He already has three goals on the season, two of which led the Canucks to a 4-3 victory against the Oilers earlier this month. Everyone knows it's just a matter of time before Salo gets hurt but when healthy, he can be tough to handle.
  • Shortly after beating the Minnesota Wild on Saturday afternoon, the club announced they had acquired forward David Booth from the Flordia Panthers in exchange for Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson, While Samuelsson had been a solid support player for this organization, Sturm lasted all of six games before the Canucks realized they messed that one up. Booth has 30 goal potential but after going -37 in his final 88 games, I am guessing the former Panther couldn't get out of town quick enough. The talented winger will likely play on a line with Ryan Kesler and Vancouver will be counting on him to rebound.

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