Vancouver followed up getting blown out in their home opener with a SO loss to the Oilers and SO win over Calgary. The Nucks second line is decimated while anchor Ryan Kesler is out indefinitely and winger David Booth will be nursing a pulled groin for the next four to six weeks.
With those injuries impacting the Canucks secondary scoring the D has stepped as Alexander Edler (2) and Dan Hamhuis (1) have three of Vancouver’s seven goals. Zack Kassian, acquired from Buffalo last season for Cody Hodgson, has two.
In the first three games of the season the issue in Vancouver isn’t secondary scoring. Daniel Sedin has one goal while brother Henrik and Alex Burrows have yet to score. The strategy to beating the Nucks remains the same. Stop the Sedins.
While Coach Boudreau tell us fans he likes to roll four lines the thing he doesn’t say is how he uses the D to match up against the opposition’s best forwards. Every coach, from house league Mites to the NHL, matches D against opposition forwards. Gabby has two ways of matching up from the D. The pair of Beauchemin/Lydman or Bryan Allen.
On the other bench, Vigneault will be trying to get the Sedins over the boards against Sbisa/Souray. Forget rolling the lines, this is the real cat and mouse game between the respective brain trusts.
Look for Beauchemin/Lydman to take the assignment, along with the KCW line, at least to start against the Sedin Line.
The tendency between these two teams is lots of scoring. In eight of the last games against Vancouver Ducks have scored 4 or more goals. A caution to bettors, past performance is no guaranty of future results, and Cory Schneider is particularly motivated to the shut down our Ducks after giving up 5 goals last weekend.
The teams won’t play the rubber game until April 25.
The other roster intrigue will be who centers Selanne and Ryan, Bonino or Rakell.
Per AnaheimDucks.com it would appear that Bones is getting the start with Rakell a healthy scratch. Holland will center Matt Beleskey and Devante Smith-Pelly. Lest Bonino get too comfortable Coach had this to say about Peter Holland:
“We’d love to see what his compete level is. I’d like to see a solid game from him. And if someone in the top-three centers goes out, he’s a guy that can easily replace them with his offensive ability.”
Ryan Getzlaf was excused from the morning skate. Rakell took the Captain’s spot in the line drills.
Ducks second and fourth line roster spots are fluid. A decision will need to be made on Rakell fairly quickly. The young Swede is up with our Ducks for five games before a decision must be made on whether to keep him or return him to Junior.