Singin The Blues
The Vancouver Canucks host the St. Louis Blues tonight at Rogers Arena as the home team continues to seek its first win of the calendar year after struggling since the Christmas break.
The Canucks and Blues have already met once this season, the first round going to the Vancouver in a 3-2 overtime victory at the Scottrade center.
Big Bad Blues
The St. Louis Blues have won seven straight games heading into tonight’s action, presenting the Canucks with another round of stiff competition as they search for their first win of the year. The Blues haven’t loss since the Christmas break and are coming off a dominating 5-0 victory over the Flames on Thursday.
After falling short against the Kings and Ducks the Canucks will have to ice a consistent 60-minute effort against the best of the Central Division tonight.
The Canucks continue to struggle in 2014 and Tuesday’s loss to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins was just another example of the lack of finish the team has shown throughout the entire season. With a two-goal lead late in the third period the Canucks got complacent and watched as Crosby and company turned the game around with only seconds to spare.
Win or lose, look for a determined 60-minute effort tonight from Tortorella’s Canucks.
Eddie Lack is expected to start for the Canucks again tonight while Roberto Luongo remains out with an ankle injury. Lack has been solid since taking over part-time for Luongo, however the wins have been hard to come by as the Canucks continue to struggle to close out games.
Brian Elliot is expected to start for the Blues after Jaroslav Halak’s 5-0 shutout of the Flames last night in Calgary.
While the Canucks have struggled to close out games this season the additional dynamic of the shootout hasn’t helped their chances either.
The Canucks are 2-6 in the shootout this season including Tuesday’s loss to the Penguins and will be looking to avoid the skills competition at all costs again tonight.
While John Tortorella has tried icing four forwards during extra time to try and end the game early it would behoove the Canucks to put in the effort during regulation time tonight against a strong Blues team.
Tom Sestito will suit up in his 100th regular season NHL game tonight against the Blues. Sestito has played 65 games with the Canucks over two seasons, tallying 5 goals and a lone assist since coming to Vancouver.
While Sestito obviously isn’t an offensive dynamo look for the big man to hold his position in front of the net once again tonight after being installed on the Canucks’ power play unit last week.