Canucks vs Blackhawks Game Day Report: No Suspension for Burrows

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Canucks Game Day Blackhawks

After two hard fought, back-to-back games against some tough Central division opponents in St. Louis and Nashville, the Vancouver Canucks have the opportunity tonight to continue the trend against their old foe, the Chicago Blackhawks.

While Monday night’s game in St. Louis was relatively tame, the matchup between the Canucks and Predators was anything but amiable. Aside from the questionable “hit” from Alex Burrows (more on that later) and the near decapitation of Radim Vrbata, both teams were clearly looking to mix things up. Heck, even Pekka Rinne took a shot at the lovable Bo Horvat!

There are many leather-bound chronicles of the Canucks/Blackhawks matchup, so it shouldn’t take long for two teams well acquainted with each other to light some fireworks.

Matchup

Image: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Image: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Game Time: 5:30 pm

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

Much has been made of the Canucks’ record against the basement dwellers around the league, but in games against some of the NHL’s elite teams, they’ve been pretty impressive. Well, Chicago is considered by many to be a one of the better teams in the West and their record corroborates that. Ipso facto, Vancouver should play well and grab at least a point. We’ll see how well this theory holds up.

Storylines

1. No Suspension For Burrows

burrows

Image: tsn.ca

The biggest story coming out of Tuesday night’s game with Nashville was not the gutsy come from behind shootout win, but the questionable hit Alex Burrows laid on Paul Gaustad late in the the 3rd period. Many believed that with his history and “reputation”, Burrows would be suspended by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety regardless of whether or not he deserved to be.

https://vine.co/v/OLP3a9Bvvxz

The NHL released today that Burrows would not face any further discipline after receiving a five minute major and a game misconduct for interference during the game. Personally, I don’t have a problem with the call on the ice, but I’m glad to see the league didn’t feel it warranted a suspension. There are a number of people outside of Vancouver that are not pleased with the verdict though…

2. Depth Scoring

With Linden Vey scoring on Tuesday evening, the Canucks boosted the number of their double-digit goal scorers to 11. Going into this season, there were questions, as there have been for years, swirling around the secondary scoring. While it’s been dry at times, it is hard to argue that the Canucks have not backed up the Sedins nicely.

Player GP G
Radim Vrbata 74 31
Shawn Matthias 75 18
Henrik Sedin 77 17
Daniel Sedin 77 16
Alex Burrows 65 16
Jannik Hansen 76 15
Nick Bonino 70 15
Bo Horvat 63 13
Chris Higgins 73 12
Zack Kassian 42 10
Linden Vey 70 10

Perhaps one area of criticism would be regarding the scoring from the Canucks defencemen. Yannick Weber currently leads all blue liners with 9 goals, but only one more defenceman (Alex Edler) has more than 3. If Vancouver can get some more help from the backend down the stretch and into the playoffs, it could really make for a well rounded offence.

3. Power Play Heating Up

Don’t look now, but the Canucks’ power play is starting to heat up. Sure, even a pulse would have been appreciated after the absolute travesty it has been all season, but in the last 7 games, opposing penalties truly have been a Vancouver advantage.

Since the 4-1 win against LA on March 21st, the Canucks are 7-for-17 (41.2%) and have scored a power play marker in every game, save for the game against St. Louis in which they only had one chance. Once again, it would be found money if the Canucks can even remotely replicate this success as the regular season dwindles down and the playoffs approach.

Lineup

With Miller, Richardson, and Kassian still out, it’s likely the Canucks will start the same lineup from their two wins in St. Louis and Nashville.

And it doesn’t sound like Willie Desjardins is getting nervous about overplaying Eddie Lack.

D. Sedin H. Sedin  Burrows
Higgins Bonino Vrbata
Kenins Horvat Hansen
Dorsett Vey Matthias
Edler Tanev
Hamhuis Weber
Sbisa Bieksa
Lack

Prediction

It stands to reason that the Canucks will win this game if for no other reason than the Chicago Blackhawks are a good hockey team. Losses to Colorado and Dallas were followed up by inspiring performances against the Blues and Predators, so why not finish off the non-wild card Central division playoff teams with a bang. With noted Canuck killer Patrick Kane still out of the lineup, I’ll take Vancouver by a score of 4-2.

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Lachlan Macintosh : Vancouver Island Native. Harvard Graduate. Recreational sports standout. Above average cook. Below Average fantasy football player.
@Mack_n_Tosh

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