EDMONTON OILERS (14-13-2) at
VANCOUVER CANUCKS (17-11-3)
Start Time: 8:38 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes
LINEUP UPDATES: Dwayne Roloson gets the start in goal tonight against the Canucks... Jason Strudwick draws back into the lineup with Liam Reddox a healthy scratch.
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
For the Canucks, the story of the night is all about Trevor Linden.
Vancouver will retire the venerable captain's number 16 in a ceremony before tonight's game at GM Place. When all the pomp and circumstance is done, it's back to business as usual--hopefully, the business of atoning for the 9-2 shelacking they received last night courtesy of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Despite a spirited start from the Oilers, a torrent of Blackhawk goals soon turned the game into a foregone conclusion. Edmonton will have only the flight to Vancouver to regroup and recollect.
The Canucks are coming off a 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers who shut out the Oilers on Dec. 11. Edmonton shut out Vancouver in the teams' last meeting on Saturday after which coach Alain Vigneault had nothing positive to say--Craig MacTavish also had nothing positive to say after last night's devastation.
Vancouver will again be without Roberto Luongo and will have Curtis Sanford in goal.
Tonight's matchup is the third of the season for Vancouver of Edmonton with the series tied at 1-1-0.
After tonight's game, Edmonton will gear up for two more at home: the Anaheim Ducks on Friday and the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH:
After a game like last night's, Captain Ethan Moreau will need to fire up the troops...Erik Cole is still buzzing. He may benefit from the forthcoming physical game...Zack Stortini
had a spirited tilt with Darcy Hordichuk on Saturday. They seem to have quite a few scraps agianst each other and will very likely get acquainted again tonight.
CANUCKS TO WATCH:
Henrik Sedin has 39 points (9-30-39) in 47 games versus the Oilers...Kyle Wellwood is having a resurgence in Vancouver and scored in his last game vs. Florida after a goal-scoring drought. He leads the league in shooting percentage with 34.3 per cent (12 goals in 34 shots)...It will be a physical battle so expect Darcy Hordichuk to be throwing his weight around.
Edmonton – Steve MacIntyre
(orbital bone) is out; Fernando Pisani (ankle) is out. Vancouver--Ryan Johnson (foot/hand) is out indefinitely; Roberto Luongo (groin) is Week-to-week; Rick Rypien (hernia) is out indefinitely; Sami Salo (groin) is day-to-day.
The Vancouver Canucks will retire Trevor Linden's number 16 tonight...It's only the second jersey ever retired by the Canucks, the first Stan Smyl's number 12...being Linden scored 37 goals, 47 assists for 84 points in 102 games versus the Oilers...The Canucks have allowed the fewest goals at home this season--19 goals in 12 games...With 311 career points, Mattias Ohlund is 12 points away from setting the club record for most points by a Canucks D-man...only seven points separate first from last place in the NorthWest Division.
Tuesday's Post-Game Video:
Tuesday's Post-Game Audio:
The Other Side
- Linden Jersey Retirement LIVE - Watch Trevor Linden's sweater retirement from General Motors Place live on Canucks.com. The ceremony starts at 6:00pm prior to the puck drop against the Edmonton Oilers at 7:30pm. ...more
- The Farewell - The special 16-day initiative will take an in-depth look at Trevor Linden’s career, concluding on December 16th, 2008. The final day chronicles the last game of Trevor Linden's NHL career. ...more
- Gillis meets with Barry - Mats Sundin is close to making a decision and JP Barry is in town to talk to Canucks GM, Mike Gillis. Two d-men are missing from practice, and Darcy Hordichuk clears the air with the media. Gillis Video ...more
Odds and Ends
- 5 Questions with Denis Grebeshkov - We recently asked Denis Grebeshkov five hard-hitting questions, and the shy defenceman was quick to provide the much soughtafter answers. Click to check out the Q & A. ...more
- The Link: Erik Cole Shares a Book - Hockey fans in Oil Country have another reason to be proud today as Oilers fan and Beaumont, AB resident Colin Oberst was announced as the winner of Hockey Night In Canada’s anthem competition. ...more
- Ask an Oiler: You ask, Moreau answers - Ethan Moreau sits down with Steve Taylor to answer a number of questions submitted by Oilers fans in the latest edition of Ask an Oiler. Follow the link or click the play button above to watch the episode. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Vancouver Canucks will soon know if they have landed free agent star Mats Sundin.
The Canucks wouldn't mind hearing the news coming off a victory over the rival Edmonton Oilers when the teams meet on a special night Wednesday at GM Place.
While it retires the No. 16 of popular star Trevor Linden prior to the game, Vancouver (17-11-3) could be on the verge of acquiring another of the NHL's all-time greats.
The 37-year-old Sundin, a nine-time All-Star who scored 32 goals with Toronto last season, is expected to announce Thursday whether he'll play for the Canucks or New York Rangers for the rest of 2008-09. Sundin has spent 17 seasons in the NHL with Quebec and Toronto, totaling 555 goals and 766 assists.
The Canucks, tied with Calgary for first place in the Northwest Division, offered Sundin $10 million per year, which would earn him a prorated salary of about $5 million.
"We will see how it plays out," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said. "The reality is we've done everything we can possibly do to attract a high-level player to come here."
Vancouver hopes a positive result on the Sundin decision will cap what could be a couple of joyous days for the franchise. The Canucks will retire the jersey of Linden, who had 375 goals and 492 assists in 19 NHL seasons, most of which he spent in Vancouver.
Following the ceremony, the Canucks will look to improve to 2-0 on a four-game homestand, after finishing a 2-4-1 road trip with a 3-0 loss to Edmonton on Saturday.
"It is a huge game, but obviously it's a huge night too," Vancouver forward Alex Burrows told the team's official Web site. "Before the game for a little bit we'll celebrate Trevor and afterwords we'll come back here, focus, regroup and make sure that we're ready to go."
Vancouver returned home Sunday and defeated Florida 5-3. Pavel Demitra scored twice while Ryan Kesler added a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who erased a 2-0 deficit by scoring four times in the second period.
Demitra has three of his 10 goals on the season in his last three games, while Kesler has a goal and three assists in his last four contests. Kesler had two assists in a 6-3 win over Edmonton on Oct. 25.
With captain Roberto Luongo still week-to-week with a groin injury, Curtis Sanford is expected to start this contest for Vancouver, which is 5-4-1 without Luongo.
Sanford is 4-4-0 with a 2.87 goals-against average this season and 5-1-1 with a 2.21 GAA lifetime versus the Oilers.
Though Edmonton (14-13-2) evened the season series with Vancouver in the teams' last meeting, the Oilers must find a way to rebound from a 9-2 home loss to Chicago on Tuesday.
"We have to somehow get our energy back up and try to duplicate the game we had against Vancouver our last game at home," captain Ethan Moreau said. "There is going to be a lot of questions going into (Wednesday) because of our effort (Tuesday), but we have an opportunity to play well. That's how we'll be evaluated, by how we respond."
Mathieu Garon allowed five goals and was replaced by Dwayne Roloson, who gave up four for Edmonton, which has lost two of three since winning three in a row.
Roloson, 6-4-2 with a 2.74 GAA on the season, could get the start Wednesday after recording 23 saves against the Canucks on Saturday for his first shutout of the season.
Shawn Horcoff scored against Chicago giving him three goals and eight assists in his last nine games.
Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner and Robert Nilsson each scored for the Oilers against the Canucks over the weekend.