Canucks vs Bruins Game Day Report: Eddie Lack, Your Time is Now

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Canucks Game Day Bruins

The Canucks will begin life after Miller tonight with a test against their arch rivals, the Boston Bruins.

Vancouver rolls into Boston with a lengthy list of injuries. On forward, they are without Alex Burrows and Brad Richardson. On defence, they are without Frank Corrado plus 3 of their top 4 defencemen: Alex Edler, Chris Tanev and Kevin Bieksa. And now in goal, they are without Ryan Miller.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2UY45UktR0

The Canucks have persevered despite the fact they are playing perhaps the toughest part of their schedule. Vancouver is 7-4-0 in their last 11 games and it hasn’t been easy.

Matchup

Game Time: 4:00 pm

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

Losing Krejci is a crushing blow for the Bruins, who are seemingly hanging on by a thread right now.

In stark contrast to the Canucks, the Bruins are in disarray. With 67 points on the season, Boston sits just 3 points ahead of the Florida Panthers for the last playoff spot in the East. If they were in the West, they would be on the outside looking in.

Boston just snapped a 6-game losing streak on Sunday. Now, they snapped it with a 6-2 win on the road in Chicago on a nationally televised game, so opponents best beware.

Storylines

1. Eddie, Eddie, Eddie

lack_water

Image: canucks.nhl.com

The Canucks will be without Ryan Miller for at least a month, so it will be up to Eddie Lack to backstop them to the playoffs. Lack was thrust into the number one job behind an injury-depleted team almost  a year ago to the day, but faltered (.893 SV% after the Heritage Classic) due to fatigue/injury/inexperience/lack of support from the team in front of him. But things are likely to be different this time around.

Lack has more experience, a team capable of some success in front of him and a backup that the coach will use from time-to-time to give him a break (Jacob Markstrom was called-up today). He has a save percentage of .917, playing in spot duty against good competition. Since November 8, Lack has been hot, putting up a .929 SV% in 16 games.

Being an excellent backup is one thing, translating that to being an excellent #1 goalie is another. Not every goalie can make the transition. Lack will get a chance to prove he is the real deal, and if he does that, the injury to Miller could prove to be a blessing in disguise.

2. Still 1st liners

Sedins

Image: sportsnet.ca

It was about 3 weeks ago that the Sedin haters started to crow again. “They’re not 1st liners” anymore, they squawked. Well, Daniel and Henrik are proving that they’ve still got gas in the tank. Not only are they still first liners, it turns out they’re pretty good first liners.

With the team reeling with injuries, it has been the twins who have put this team on their back. In their last 13 games, Henrik has 16 points and Daniel has 13. They have scored big goals and they have scored against good teams.

Henrik and Daniel Sedin currently sit at 18th and 23rd in league scoring, respectively. The Sedins are currently outscoring a number of prominent duos, including Getzlaf/Perry, Kopitar/Gaborik, Datsyuk/Zetterberg, Thornton/Marleau and Nash/St Louis. Not bad.

3. I Hate Boston

marchand

Image: canucks.nhl.com

Ok, I have tried really hard to write this article without mentioning 2011 or how much I hate the Boston Bruins, but I can’t hold it in any longer.

I’m still not over 2011 and you can’t make me. It was a crushing series loss that will probably haunt my dreams until the day that the Canucks win the Stanley Cup. This Bruins team isn’t the same team that won it all in 2011, more than half of their roster wasn’t a part of the 2011 championship team, but many of the same villains are still in place. Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic are still there. That’s enough for me.

The biggest game of the season is always any game against the Bruins. Show no mercy.

Lineup

Expect the same lineup that finished the game against the Islanders on Sunday, with a chance that Nick Bonino could return to the lineup.

Chris Tanev could be back soon as well.

*Update: Bonino will play.

D. Sedin H. Sedin Kassian
Matthias Bonino Vrbata
Kenins Horvat Hansen
Higgins Vey Dorsett
Hamhuis Weber
Sbisa Biega
Stanton Clendening
Lack

Prediction

The Canucks have been finding a way to win lately, and they will do it again in a gritty game against those jerks from Boston the Bruins. Canucks win 3-2, Eddie Lack makes 40+ saves and Bo Horvat gets the winner.

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Rob Williams Sports Editor at Vancity Buzz covering all sports in Vancouver.
@robthehockeyguy

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