Wed Sept 19, 2007
Vancouver Canucks (0-1) vs. Calgary Flames (0-1-1)
7:00 pm - General Motors Place - Vancouver, BC.
Feeling The Burn
The Vancouver Canucks take to the ice this evening, facing off against Mike Keenan and the Calgary Flames. Not only are the Canucks facing the Flames but there are several Canuck regulars that are feeling the burn.
Brendan Morrison, Willie Mitchell, Byron Ritchie, Rick Rypien are all suffering from minor groin strains and will most likely watch this evenings contest from the press box. "Nobody has pulled a groin, they're just sore" says Coach Alain Vigneault of the injuries. With the start of the season less than two weeks away it appears the Canucks are playing on the side of caution as opposed to looking for players to 'play through the injury'.
All that set aside the Canucks should be able to feild a talent laden line-up with the likes of Roberto Luongo in goal and Captain Markus Naslund up front. Mattias Ohlund and Lukas Krajicek will add their experience to a Canuck blueline that will include prospects Alex Edler and Nathan McIver. There in no word yet on the status of Luc Bourdon who struggled through his first pre-season outing on Monday against the Ducks.
Regulars, Ryan Kesler and Taylor Pyatt are expected to join Naslund up front with Jeff Cowan getting his second start of the pre-season. Also looking to add to the Canucks scoring punch will be Michael Grabner, Jannik Hansen and Jason Jaffray.
Cory Schneider is expected to get his first NHL action as he will relieve Luongo part way through the game. And you know that is a tough assignment to follow, it can be equated as finishing off someone else's masterpiece.
As for the Calgary Flames, they have had a difficult start to the pre-season dropping a series of games to the Florida Panthers. It is expected that the Flames will counter with Mikka Kipprusoff in goal. The 31-year-old goaltender has been the topic of the camp as both he and the Flames look to agree on a contract before Kipper becomes an unrestricted free agent next July.
Although both teams will feild line-ups that have their fair share of prospects, I am certain that it will not take long for the blood to boil in this one. The Canucks and Flames are one of the NHL's best rivalries regardless of the date on the calendar. In fact, I am sure that both teams coach staff is looking at the youngsters ability to react to the pressures of such a fierce contest.