The Vancouver Canucks return home from their six-game road trip to host the Dallas Stars. The Canucks went 1-5 on a road trip that had all types of games: stinkers (Montreal and Ottawa), craziness (Toronto), good efforts (Detroit and Long Island), and a win (New York).
We’ll see what type of game this one will be – it’s the first of four straight at home.
Dallas Stars (6-6-3, 15 points) vs Vancouver Canucks (5-9-1, 11 points)
Venue: Rogers Arena, Vancouver
Time: 1 pm PT
TV: Sportsnet Pacific
Radio: TSN 1040
By the numbers
|Goals for||1.80 (30th)||2.67 (14th)|
|Goals against||2.87 (20th)||3.33 (26th)|
|Power play %||8.7 (30th)||18.0 (17th)|
|Penalty kill %||86.4 (6th)||77.2 (27th)|
|Shots for||28.1 (28th)||29.7 (15th)|
|Shots against||28.5 (10th)||31.3 (21st)|
|Faceoff %||50.7 (8th)||49.5 (17th)|
The Canucks skated at UBC on Saturday, but didn’t do line rushes. Here are the lines they used on Thursday:
|D. Sedin||H. Sedin||Eriksson|
What you need to know
1. Will home be sweet?
After a disastrous road trip that saw the Canucks play six games in nine nights, the Canucks will play their next four games at home over the next seven days. On paper, two or three of the games seem winnable… but we’re talking about the Canucks here.
Buoyed by some resilient play and a lot of puck luck, the Canucks’ home record is a respectable 4-3. With their toughest road trip of the season already behind them, things can’t get any worse, can they?
2. Hamhuis comes home
Tonight’s game will mark the return of defenceman Dan Hamhuis. The Smithers native played six full seasons with the Canucks, amassing 142 points in 389 career games with Vancouver.
A fan favourite, Hamhuis quietly slipped away this past summer as the Canucks did not seem intent to re-sign him. Hamhuis signed a two-year, $7.5 million contract with the Stars.
#Canucks talking Dan Hamhuis, who they’ll face Sunday playing the Stars.
“He was great for this team, a true role model.” – H.Sedin
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 12, 2016
Hamhuis has played in 14 of the Stars’ 15 games this season, and he has four assists so far, tying him for second on the team for blueliners.
Expect a warm reception for Hamhuis, complete with obligatory video message during the first TV timeout.
3. Expect some goals
No, I’m not joking.
The Stars are led by the dynamic duo of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn and they are both always dangerous when they’re on the ice – either together or on separate lines.
Dallas boasts some poor goaltending, as both Kari Lehtonen (2.96 GAA, .899 SV%) and Antti Niemi (3.65 GAA, .892 SV%) have struggled to start the season.
Thus, one of two things is bound to happen: either the Canucks light up the red lamp a few times, or they will make Lehtonen or Niemi look like Vezina candidates.
The table is set for Loui Eriksson, Brandon Sutter, or Sven Baertschi to double their goal totals.
I have a good feeling that the BC Lions will win their game across the street at BC Place, so the Canucks will want to win as well.
Look for the Canucks to win 4-2, spoiling Dan Hamhuis’ return home.