Lineup update: As per @FarhanLalji from TSN, Corey Schneider will get the start, and Andrew Alberts will sit in the press box as Keith Ballard will line up next to Cam Barker on defense.
Coming off a tired loss against the Flames on Sunday evening, the Canucks have to put in a better 60 minutes when they face the San Jose Sharks at home on Tuesday.
First, a recap of Sunday night’s action in Calgary.
Vancouver’s domination in the first two periods against Calgary had their own road fans shouting louder than the home’s sea of red, but only for so long. Jannik Hansen had a stellar performance with a goal and an assist for Chris Higgins – adding to those two points was a set of twins born to him and his wife earlier that morning (NHL scouts, stand at attention, one of them is even named Daniel).
Two goals were all that Vancouver could come up with after two periods. Calgary took the lead after a power play goal (Alain Vigneault was given a bench minor penalty in the last 10 minutes for a complaint over a missed elbowing call) and followed that up with a closing empty netter to put the final score at 4-2.
Count on the Canucks to have fresh legs against the Sharks on Tuesday and give home fans a proper showing of 60 minutes of President’s Trophy-level hockey, like they were given on Saturday against L.A.
The Sharks come into Vancouver with a win on their backs against Nashville, but overall the team is not the one we saw dominating statistics in the first few games of the season. With their last ten games going 3-4-3, the team looks mediocre on paper, but don’t tell that to the Nashville Predators who faced a barrage of 39 shots on Sunday. Considering the instability of the Canucks defence, we may see the same on Tuesday.
Coach Vigneault and Keith Ballard aren’t likely candidates to be seat buddies on the team plane, and his latest healthy scratch might just mean he won’t be on that plane for long. Ballard sat in the press box against Calgary, which led to news that his agent Ben Hankinson planned on calling Canucks management Monday to discuss the situation. The high cap-hit defenceman who was meant to bring to the team an offensive presence has netted only 15 points in his Vancouver tenure. This doesn’t spell trade bait, so some speculate that GM Mike Gillis may use the opportunity of an amnesty buyout of his contract this summer. Ballard sat out the Calgary game while Kevin Bieksa was already injured and Vigneault went with the decision to play Cam Barker in his first game (finally), where he put up an assist. This decision shows us even more so that our loveable hip-checker is in the doghouse.
Puckdrop: 7 p.m. PST
Radio: Team 1040
Television: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific
Written by Vyas Saran, a Sports Contributor at Vancity Buzz. Follow Vyas on Twitter at @vyassaran.
Feature image credit: Canucks.nhl.com