Mason Dixon Line Hockey Time
The Vancouver Canucks are in Nashville looking to close out their four-game road trip with a win over the Predators after splitting a pair of afternoon games over the weekend.
The Canucks lost nine games during the month of November and will be looking to continue the turnaround tonight after taking Sunday’s December debut in Carolina.
Below are five keys to tonight’s game between the Canucks and Predators.
The Vancouver Canucks earned two points over the Hurricanes over the weekend but lost a teammate for the immediate future after Alex Burrows suffered a broken jaw during Sunday’s victory.
The incident marks Burrows’ second serious injury of the season after missing three weeks out with a fractured foot.
Burrows has 0 goals and 3 assists through 17 games played this season.
Preds Without Weber
The Nashville Predators will have to play on without another of their top defensive performers tonight as Shea Weber is expected to miss tonight’s game with an eye injury. Weber was hit in the face with a shot during Thursday’s game against the Oilers last week and remains day-to-day.
No word as of yet regarding whether Weber will return with a visor or not.
Meet Marek Mazanec
When Pekka Rinne went down earlier in the season it appeared that all was lost in Nashville, however rookie Marek Mazenec has been the saving grace of the Predators this season.
The early season call-up has a .932 save percentage through 11 games played and is averaging two goals-against per game so far this season.
Look for the rookie to be exceptional again tonight opposite an unfamiliar Canucks team.
Garrison Getting Chances
After an exciting start to the season Jason Garrison has settled in as one of Vancouver’s best offensive defenceman.
Garrison’s huge shot hasn’t been unleashed as often as fans might like, however the White Rock native has consistently put up points from the Canucks’ blue line so far this season.
Garrison has one goal and five assists over his last five games and can be expected to keep the puck on net again tonight in Nashville.
The Canucks have embraced a more aggressive approach to the game under coach John Tortorella this season, however the team has struggled to begin and end games with the same enthusiasm.
Look for a more complete effort from the Canucks tonight as they look to close their four-game road trip with a full sixty-minute effort tonight against the Predators.
The Nucks have opened the scoring only once on their current road trip, and allowed the Hurricanes to come back in that game before taking the final lead of the night.