The Vancouver Canucks are looking to build on a decent effort vs the Columbus Blue Jackets in a Saturday night tilt vs the hated Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena. The Canucks will not lack for motivation as the Blackhawks are arguably their biggest rival. One thing is for sure, we won’t have to hear the horrid sounds of “Chelsea Dagger” that torment on a nightly basis.
The Canucks finally scored more than 2 goals and cruised to a relatively uneventful 6-2 win vs the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets completely stink, but it was a moral victory for the Canucks to see the red light turn on multiple times. Daniel and Henrik Sedin took over the game and showed the rest of the team that if you can get in the dirty areas it pays off.
The Chicago Blackhawks (AKA – The Devil)
The Blackhawks continue to be one of the top teams in the NHL. The Blackhawks are coming off of a 6-3 win over the woeful Winnipeg Jets and will be well rested after having a non-Roxy night in Vancouver. Currently the Blackhawks sit atop the Western Conference with 34 points.
It is fairly likely that the lines for the game vs the Blackhawks will look very similar to how they looked about 10 minutes into the game vs the Blue Jackets. The lines will likely look like this:
D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Kesler
Higgins – Santorelli – Burrows
Hansen – Richardson - Kassian
Sestito – Welsh – Weise
Garrison – Edler
Hamhuis – Tanev
Stanton – Bieksa
The pretend Larscheid report…
1. Stop Kane
Patrick Kane may be a noted Vancouver party animal, but he is also one heck of a hockey player. The Canucks need to contain Kane and keep him disengaged in order to succeed vs the Blackhawks.
2. Score More Than 2 Goals
This is an every game key. Let’s face it, the Canucks need to go on a multi-game run where they score more than 2 goals. The Canucks have the skill upfront to score more and could use the odd power play goal here and there also.
3. Stellar Play From Luongo
In any game vs the Blackhawks good goaltending is a key. Roberto Luongo needs to come up big tomorrow night and historically has played very well vs the Blackhawks in the regular season.
Regardless of the outcome of the Blue Jackets game I feel the Canucks are likely to beat the Blackhawks on Saturday night. The Canucks tend to play very well vs conference rivals and this game will be no different. The Canucks take this 4-1!
Follow Ian Lusher on Twitter at @IanLusher