Canucks vs. Blackhawks: Game Preview + Random Thought

It was last year that the Canucks took on the Blackhawks, got blown out and then turned the season around.  I suppose that fans are hoping for something similar to come out of tonight’s tilt.

It is the first game of the season for the bitter rivals and it is shaping up to be a good one.  Here are my pre-game notes.

- The Blackhawks have been playing some really good hockey lately.  With an 8-2-3 record that is good enough for second in the conference, you can bet that the Canucks are going to be in for a challenging night.

- The Hawks are winning despite Jonathan Toews being really quiet this season.  Many were calling for him to take the next step in his development and be an offensive force this year.  It just hasn’t happened.  That being said, I do think that he is one of the best young leaders in the game.

- Aaron Rome will start for the Canucks again with Sulzer being drawn out of the line-up.  Every Canuck fan knows that Alain Vigneault loves Rome so it will be interesting to see how he uses him tonight.  While I’m not a huge Rome fan, he can’t hurt a defense that is struggling right now.

- Duncan Keith is out for the Hawks so that should leave the Sedins with a little more room.  That being said there is a good chance that Coach Q will match Dave Bolland with the Sedins on every shift.  That leaves the second line to be the main producers for the Canucks.

- If what I’ve seen on the Twitter-verse is true, it looks like the second line will be 7-17-21.  I really like that line.  Having three fast, hardworking players can’t do anything but help the Canucks tonight.  I hope David Booth can get his first as a Canuck.  He deserves it.

- Looks like Hansen will be playing with the Sedins again.  DISLIKE!  Hansen is a fast player with hands of stone.  He has done very little this year and really doesn’t deserve the ice time he will be getting with the Sedins.  I like Peter Tessier’s idea of having Weise up there with the Sedins.  Who knows, maybe he could be a good fit.

This is a big test for the Canucks.  Not only that, I believe that this game will indicate the confidence of this group going forward.  Beat the Hawks with great play and I think this could serve as a catalyst for future success.  However, if the Hawks dominate the Canucks and show it on the scoreboard, we could see this group hit a new low. 

Unfortunately, I don’t see this game going the Canucks way.  I’m predicting a 5-3 win for Chicago.  To me, the Canucks just don’t match up well against the Hawks. 

Enjoy the game and I’ll be back with my post-game analysis tonight.

My random thought for today is all about the Columbus Blue Jackets.  When will someone lose their job over this terrible start to the season?  This is positively embarrassing for a team that had so many expectations heading into the year.  Take a look at GM Scott Howson’s record in Columbus, it hasn’t been stellar.  If I were in charge, he would be the first to go.

Thanks for reading.


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