Rob The Hockey Guy

// A Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog

Canucks vs Flyers Game Preview – December 30, 2013

Image Courtesy www.canucks.nhl.com

Image Courtesy www.canucks.nhl.com

The Vancouver Canucks play the 2nd of back-to-back games Monday night @ 7pm PST at Rogers Arena vs the Philadelphia Flyers. The Canucks will be looking to build on their tough road win vs the Calgary Flames the night before and are once again not getting any breaks from the schedule maker as the Flyers were sitting in Vancouver waiting for the Canucks.

Last Game

The Canucks played another solid road game vs the Calgary Flames posting a 2-0 win. The Canucks played a very efficient game, but relied on stellar goaltending by Eddie Lack to keep them ahead. The Canucks brutally out shot the Flames, but Calgary had some quality chances on Lack. The game proved costly given that the Canucks lost depth defenseman Andrew Alberts with a suspected concussion. Alberts was hit with a nasty hit by Brian McGrattan. A hit that will likely land McGrattan a suspension. Who cares? I have no idea how McGrattan is seen as a viable option on any NHL roster.

The Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers are coming off of a come from behind 4-3 shootout victory over the Edmonton Oilers. The Flyers are slowly, but surely moving up in the standings and, miraculously, sit 3rd in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers started the year off about as bad as one could imagine and fired coach, Peter Laviolette, 3 games into the season. Ridiculous I know, but new coach Craig Berube seems to have turned the Flyers season around. Claude Giroux has been on a tear and now has 35pts in 38 games.

Canucks Lines

The Canucks look to be icing the same lineup they had vs the Flames, but expect Frank Corrado to be called up with all of the injuries to the defense. For the first time in forever, it looks like the Canucks will have too many right-handed defencemen (Bieksa, Tanev, Weber and Corrado).

D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Hansen

Higgins – Kesler – Santorelli

Kassian – Richardson - Booth

Sestito – Dalpe – Weise

Hamhuis – Tanev

Corrado – Bieksa

Garrison – Weber

Lack

The pretend Larscheid report…

1. Lack Attack

Eddie Lack has taken over the goaltending reigns with Roberto Luongo injured and has been extremely good. The Canucks need Lack to continue his stellar play against a rested Flyers team waiting for the Canucks to return from Calgary

2. Defensive Depth

The Canucks depth on defence will be tested with injuries to Alex Edler, Ryan Stanton, and Andrew Alberts. It is becoming evident that the Canucks have one of the deepest defence cores in the NHL when Frank Corrado is your emergency call up. Corrado would be a top 6 D-man on almost any NHL team, but the Canucks prefer to give him valuable minutes in Utica (aka the Tanev treatment). I am confident the Canucks D is up to the challenge!

3. Slow Giroux

I am fully aware that the Canucks do not game plan against specific players, but the Canucks would be wise to key on Claude Giroux. Giroux is a flat out sniper and should be a shoe-in for Team Canada were it not for the dreadful start to the season for him and the Flyers. Stop Giroux and the Canucks likely win this one easily.

Prediction

The Canucks are coming off an impressive road win vs the Flames and Eddie Lack exudes confidence. I will be at this game live and I tend to be pretty lucky in terms of the Canucks winning when I’m sitting rinkside (aside from the playoffs, but that is another story). Canucks take this one 4-3!

Follow Ian Lusher on Twitter at @IanLusher

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