The Vancouver Canucks (10-6-3) look to bounce back after last night’s humiliating loss to the Blackhawks when they host the red hot Phoenix Coyotes (9-5-5) at Rogers Arena on Canadian Forces Appreciation Night.
Old habits die hard and, apparently for the Canucks, so do old memories. The Canucks, coming off a road trip that saw them fall behind by multiple goals in four of the five games played, decided to re-enact the whole ‘go down early and often’ routine upon their return to home ice last night only in yesterday’s case multiple meant seven. The savage beat down at the hands of the ‘Hawks probably had the Canucks thinking it was May 2010 all over again.
It’s a shame GM Mike Gillis wasn’t able to poach Travis Lulay from the BC Lions prior to last night’s tilt to insert into the lineup as a hail mary touchdown would have really been useful for the Canucks after they were manhandled by the defending Cup champs by a 7-1 count. It was the most lopsided loss for the Canucks of the season and their worst home defeat since the Flames knocked them off by the exact same score back on April 5, 2008.
About the only positive coming out of yesterday’s embarrassing loss (you’d be a miracle worker if you could find more than one) is that, unlike after the last time the Blackhawks handed the Canucks a crushing defeat on home ice, the Canucks season didn’t come to an end. In fact, they get a chance to redeem themselves less than 24 hours later when they host the Coyotes tonight. Vancouver lost back-to-back home games just once last season when they fell to the Flames in a shootout on January 9 and followed that with a regulation loss to the Predators on January 11. They haven’t lost consecutive regulation games on home ice since a four-game home losing streak from January 9 to 15, 2009.
Despite being unceremoniously yanked from last night’s contest after giving up four goals on just 20 shots faced, Roberto Luongo is expected to be back between the pipes tonight for the Canucks. Vancouver could also see Keith Ballard return to the lineup depending on his health situation. Ballard was a late scratch yesterday after coming down with the flu. If Ballard does dress, it would mark his first chance to face the team he broke into the NHL with back in 2005.06 since returning to the Western Conference. He has played against them just twice since being dealt from the Coyotes to the Panthers at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
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