The Vancouver Canucks visit the Edmonton Oilers looking to turn the page on a ridiculous hockey game Saturday night against the Flames.
Saturday’s brawl had it all and for his transgressions John Tortorella will have to be away from the Canucks for 15 days which will leave the team without their fearsome leader for the next few games.
It’s up to Mike Sullivan and Glen Gulutzan to steer the ship as the Canucks take on the Oilers missing a few leaders in the locker room.
Torts Doing Time
Tonight will be the Canucks’ first game without John Tortorella behind the bench after earning a 15-day suspension from the NHL for Saturday’s confrontation with the Flames and their coaching staff. Tortorella isn’t allowed to be in contact with the team but will surely be watching closely from home as the Canucks continue on without him.
While Tortorella’s tactics may be questionable there is no doubt his actions on Saturday should provide solid motivation for a team that was struggling previous to this weekend’s brawl.
Oh Captain, My Captain
In addition to losing their coach the Vancouver Canucks will be without their captain for the first time in 680 games. Henrik Sedin will miss tonight’s game with suspected rib/hand injuries ending his iron man streak at 679 consecutive games.
While Henrik has been reliable for several seasons the Canucks are losing their captain at a very inopportune time as scoring struggles mount and the team prepares to begin a new era without Torts.
Luongo Locked In
Roberto Luongo will look to lead by example again tonight after earning a win in his return to the lineup Saturday against the Flames.
Luongo stayed out of the rough stuff over the weekend and remained focused on helping his team earn the two points, keeping the Canucks in the game when at times they seemed distracted by early extracurricular activities. Look for Luongo to be solid again as the veteran begins to lock in his game as Sochi approaches.
Scrivens To Start
Ben Scrivens will make his second start as an Oiler tonight after beginning his career in Edmonton with a 4-1 loss to the Wild last week.
Scrivens was solid for the Los Angeles Kings earlier this season but appeared to be the product of Darryl Sutter’s defensively sound system after Martin Jones also made it look easy in the Kings crease.
Look for Scrivens to show his true colours in Edmonton where the defensive system isn’t so forgiving. The Canucks have registered 84 shots to the Oilers’ 42 through three games head-to-head so far this season.
While John Tortorella experienced small episodes of success splitting up the Sedins earlier this season tonight begins Henrik’s first absence due to injury in several years.
Look for Daniel to try and find comfort alongside longtime linemate Alex Burrows as the Canucks attempt to find chemistry in what remains of their top-six.