Gameday Skate: Canucks host Wild as trade deadline looms

I am a Wild Party!

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The Vancouver Canucks will look to build on a solid first game back with another big game tonight against the visiting Minnesota Wild.

The Canucks earned a solid 1-0 victory over the Blues on Wednesday but will need to find their scoring touch soon if they are to avoid another slump.

Canucks Can’t Score

While Wednesday’s win was a step in the right direction the Canucks continue to struggle in the offensive zone. The Canucks have been held to two goals or fewer in five-straight games heading into tonight’s contest against the Wild and will need a better effort from their shooters moving forward.

The Wild have scored two goals or more in eight-straight games heading into tonight’s game against the Canucks.

Could tonight be Ryan Kesler's last game at Rogers Arena?

Could tonight be Ryan Kesler’s last game at Rogers Arena?

Minnesota Making Progress

After a mediocre start to the season the Minnesota Wild have been making hay in 2014, putting together a 12-4-2 record since the calendar flip.

The Wild have won their last three-straight games including a 3-0 win over the Oilers last night in Edmonton.

The Wild will be a tough test for the Canucks tonight but could be exposed later in the game playing in the second of back-to-back contests on the heels of the Olympic break.

Banged-up Blue Line

Chris Tanev is expected to return to the lineup tonight after breaking his thumb in  4-2 loss to the Oilers before the Olympic break.

The time off came at the perfect moment for Tanev who has had a solid season for the Canucks so far and will be needed down the stretch as the team attempts to claw back into a playoff spot.

Kevin Bieksa is a game-time decision tonight.

Ryan Returns

Ryan Kesler will make his return to the lineup tonight after missing Wendesday’s game with a broken hand he suffered during the Olympics. Kesler courageously blocked a shot with his glove during the tournament and stuck it out for his country but was risking too much with an early return to NHL competition.

Look for Kesler to be flying tonight as he attempts to put those pesky trade rumours behind him.

Lack Back In

Eddie Lack will receive his second consecutive start tonight after a solid performance Wednesday in a 1-0 win over the Blues.

Lack earned the shutout with only 20 saves to his name but was one of the team’s best players in their first game back after the Olympic break.

Look for Lack to have another solid game as his confidence climbs after this vote of confidence.

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About Kevin Vanstone

Born in Vancouver, and a student at UVIC. "The Flying V" follows all things Canucks hockey and covers the best in CIS athletics around the Pacific Northwest. He loves to write about the athletes that used to show him up in his playing days.
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