Tonight's game is going to be stiffer competition than the Flames were Friday night. While their Cup window may be closing, the Canucks still have a lot of fight in them. It looks like the Blues will be facing Luongo in net tonight; he's currently a fan favorite again in Vancouver. This is, of course, subject to change without notice, as the fans in Vancouver switch allegiances with their goalies on an almost daily basis. Two consecutive President's Trophies, and nothing to show for it: I suppose you can't blame them from being a little schizo.
Meanwhile, the Blues will have to start fast and not let up for the whole 60 minutes. Even as well as they played in Calgary, I could see a few moments where they seemed to let up on the gas. The Canucks can burn you if you give them the opportunity. But I'm not going to "pump their tires"...
The Enemy: The Canucks are off to a 8-3-2 start, riding essentially two starting goaltenders along the way. The incumbent starter, Roberto Luongo, is currently the hot hand with 1.45 GAA and .943 save percentage. Cory Schneider is no schlub with 2.62 and .912. While Luongo is being shopped around for the eventual trade that's been discussed for about 15 years, the other big story this year has been injuries. Vancouver's last game, a 4-3 loss to Dallas, saw the return of Ryan Kesler. But, as one returns, another center leaves, as Manny Malhotra's season is apparently over with continuing issues with an eye injury suffered in March 2011. Much has been written about the lack of depth in Vancouver, and injuries haven't helped. However, they're still at the top of the NW Division, and still a tough opponent. Henrik Sedin just passed Markus Naslund as the all-time leading scorer for the Canucks (757 career points, 0G 10A this year), and brother Daniel Sedin is leading the team with 12 points (4G 8A).
Final Verse: Yet another late one for Blues fans, as tonight's game starts at 8:00 St Louis time. The TV broadcast is on FoxSports MW, and the radio call is on KMOX 1120 AM. The GDT thread will drop shortly ahead of the puck. Until then, consider this your pregame skate. Gather here, revive the hate that generated during the 2009 playoffs, sing the praises of St. Kelly, and laugh again and again at Vancouver fans. At least their team has a sense of humor:
Why Alain Vigneault was laughing. Full story (CanucksTV) (via Canucks)