The Vancouver Canucks will face a familiar foe in Cory Schneider again tonight as they visit the New Jersey Devils for an early season rematch. The Canucks snuck away with a 3-2 overtime win over Schneider and the Devils earlier this season, but will be looking to close out the season series with a better performance tonight in New Jersey.
The following are five keys to tonight’s game for the Canucks.
The Canucks have been playing from behind a lot this season, and after giving up two goals against to start Tuesday’s game on Long Island the visitors will be focused on a better start again tonight.
The Canucks allowed the Devils to score twice to open their first meeting of the season, but can’t expect to pull the comeback off again against a determined Cory Schneider.
Leading By Example
Henrik Sedin continues to carry the Canucks during this road trip, embracing new linemates and new roles as the team continues to adapt to life on the road. While in year’s past the trio of Henrik, Daniel, and Burrows was rarely broken up, the captain has been used to get his teammates going in the early parts of this season.
Burrows could be back in the lineup tonight against the Devils, but there are no guarantees as to where he will play under John Tortorella’s new system.
David Booth is expected to start tonight’s game after being a healthy scratch against the Islanders on Tuesday.
Booth was passed over in favour of defenceman Andrew Alberts against the Islanders, but will get the chance to prove he deserves to play again tonight in New Jersey. (more on that from Mitch soon on the blog)
Alberts was benched after being caught out of position during his first shift of the game on Tuesday, playing only 37 seconds and earning a -1.
It seems wherever he goes Cory Schneider will be involved in some sort of goaltending controversy. After a roller coaster ride in Vancouver Schneider finds himself slowly taking the starting job away from the legendary Martin Brodeur, however Schneider himself has struggled to secure wins for him team so far this season.
Through five games played Schneider has only one victory, but carries a respectable .917 save percentage and 2.21 goals-against average into tonight’s contest.
Alex Burrows participated in a full skate with the Canucks today and could make his return to the lineup tonight against his old teammate.
Burrows was hurt blocking a shot during Vancouver’s first game of the season, but would give the Canucks a big boost after losing Jannik Hansen on Tuesday.
Hansen slammed into the end-boards during Tuesday’s game and has been sent back to Vancouver to be re-evaluated.