They’ll Need to be Bigger in Texas
As the debate shall inevitably roll on until Brendan Shanahan lays down a verdict, the fact remains that the Vancouver Canucks have a plane to catch and a game to play Thursday night in Dallas, Texas.
For you aviation buffs out there, that’s a voyage of just under 1000 miles and 2.5-3 hours.
Let’s be honest here, the Canucks just lost their 6th of 8 games and are going to be dog tired against a team playing for playoff positioning.
Without saying too much more and ruining my keys to the game, I now present to you the long awaited and said keys…to…the…game.
Don’t give me the old excuse, “Oh, they’ll sleep on the plane.”
No, no, no, that’s not going to cut it. You see, on top of the Canucks having to play a second game in as many nights and a substantial plane ride to Texas, Dallas hasn’t played since Tuesday.
While that was a fairly hard-fought game against Phoenix for the Pacific Division lead that the Stars won 4-3 in the shootout, you have to think they will be a lot more rarin’ to go.
I think you can guess where this is going. At writing time, we still don’t know what the status of Daniel Sedin is, but you can bet your bottom dollar he won’t be in the lineup Thursday against the Stars.
In fact, even if he was healthy, it would probably just be smart to give him the night off anyways, given how rumoured and speculated it’s been that the Sedins are tired and mangled after a very long two seasons.
On the bright side, they did show a clip late in the broadcast of the Hawks’ game where Daniel was working out his jaw on the bench in the 1st period before leaving for the dressing room.
This leads me to believe Daniel may have suffered a broken jaw rather than a concussion. While it’s possible for both to happen at once, I’m a glass half full, optimistic kind of guy.
With jaw injuries, you can play while it’s healing. Although if I remember correctly, when Teemu Selanne went down with one in recent times, he sat out for a few before returning to on-ice action sporting a full cage or a visor with a half cage.
Let’s hope for the best.
One would like to think the Canucks sort of came alive Wednesday versus the Hawks. It was a Canucks team we hadn’t seen in a while. Heck, Mason Raymond was one of the best players out there and I was a little surprised not to see him pot one. He had 5 freaking shots if you believe that so that means he hit the net 5 times. He only fell when checked and made smart passes to go with a couple little moves that dazzled my eyes.
Henrik seemed somewhat inspired after seeing his brother taken out of the game and that’s a good sign. It’s not like anyone expected him to cheap shot Keith afterwards but it was positive to see him giving Duncan a piece of his mind.
The 3rd line was pretty much invisible save that early goal from Jannik Hansen and a couple key defensive zone faceoff wins late from Sammy Pahlsson.
On another positive note, Zack Kassian became acquainted with this rivalry. He was big and speedy out there, and let the Hawks know he was around. Maxim Lapierre even had a good run with a few hits in the game.
Of course I can’t leave out Bobby Lu. Despite giving up the winner in OT, he was outstanding and it’s safe to say he has exorcised his recent March demons.
With all that being said, the Canucks are still not out of this slump. They need to win and frankly should have won Wednesday. They dominated the first 15 minutes of the 3rd and were unlucky not to score. I say they aren’t out of this slump, but they are damn close.
Big picture; they are 3-5-2 in their last ten and Dallas is 7-2-1. Dallas is only 1 point ahead of both LA and Phoenix, not to mention just 3 ahead of NO WAY San Jose for the Division lead.
BEST BET TO WIN: Dallas Stars
I hate to say it but while the Canucks may actually be hungrier to win Thursday and who knows, they may pull it off, Dallas is going to be that much fresher.
Add to that the stat where Dallas is 2-0 against the Canucks this season; hell; in the last 30 days.
But where there’s a will, there’s a way and maybe the Dallas Stars won’t play the Canucks the way they should Thursday night at the American Airlines Center.
Puck drop is at 5:30PM on Sportsnet Pacific and TEAM1040 Radio.