The Vancouver Canucks play the second of back to back games vs the Phoenix Coyotes with a 6:00pm PST Thursday night tilt at Jobing.com Arena. This game will very likely feel and sound like a home game with quite a few Canucks fans in the crowd. The Canucks need to start picking up points against Pacific Division teams, specifically against those divisional opponents that are slumping.
One word: PATHETIC!
Memo to Mike Gillis: Although it is very evident that the core of this team is very good, this team needs new blood beyond the coach. I’m fully aware that this is not a team that has Cup aspirations in it’s current configuration, but a few shrewd moves and the Canucks can get back to contending. At some point you have to make some roster moves beyond the periphery players.
The Phoenix Coyotes
The Coyotes finally realized they are the Coyotes and are currently on a 4 game losing streak. Early in the season the Coyotes were pretending to reincarnate the 80s Oilers and now look more reminiscent of a better Minnesota Wild team. You have to give Dave Tippett credit, he can certainly make “chicken salad out of chicken shit.” (Thank You Casey Printers!!)
The Canucks are likely to insert the newly called up Kellan Lain. I’m interested to see if he can keep up with NHL speed. It remains to be seen whose spot he will take. My best guess is Dale Weise. We don’t know what the lines will look like yet (Tortorella has to juggle the lines you would think).
Hi everybody, Rob here, sorry to interrupt Ian but since we don’t know what the lines will look like, I thought I’d give you what I would do if I were the coach:
D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Kassian
Higgins – Kesler – Hansen
Richardson – Santorelli - Booth
Sestito – Dalpe – Lain
Hamhuis – Tanev
Garrison – Bieksa
Edler – Weber
Back to you Ian…
The pretend Larscheid report…
1. Bury The Chances
- I’m tired of watching the Canucks struggle so much on offence. The reality is that they have a lot of gifted offensive players who have scored. It is not a matter of ability, it is a matter of focus and execution. Someone needs to step up!
2. Puck Luck
While I was sickened by the game vs the Ducks, I have to admit that the main reason for the lopsided score was a lot of puck luck for the Ducks. The Canucks could use a little bit of luck along with a lot of effort.
3. Killer Instinct
The Canucks need to develop a killer instinct. When they get a chance early, they need to bury it. When they have a team on the ropes that is struggling, they need to put the game away.
The Canucks are coming off a disaster after what I thought would be a galvanizing game vs the Los Angeles Kings. I have to believe the Canucks will come out with one of their better efforts of the season vs the Coyotes. Canucks win 5-1 and Mike Smith does his Greg Louganis impersonation at least 2 times.
The www.robthehockeyguy.com predictions season record is currently at 27-21.
Follow Ian Lusher on Twitter at @IanLusher