The Carolina Hurricanes continue with the "mother of all road trips" tonight as they take on the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. It didn't seem long ago that the team was in St. Petersburg and then Helsinki. But they are on the other side of the planet now, several time zones removed from where they opened their season just 10 days ago.
Considering the heavy travel, the team has played pretty well as they bring a 2-1 record with them to Vancouver.
Expect to see some line changes when you turn on the tube to watch the game tonight. John Forslund has reported from his Twitter account that Jeff Skinner will be moving to center and Jussi Jokinen will play wing on Eric Staal's line. Patrick O`Sullivan also returns to the lineup and will play alongside Brandon Sutter.
Here are what the lines are projected to look like, at least to start out:
- Staal, Jokinen, Cole
- Sutter, O'Sullivan, Ruutu
- Skinner, LaRose, Samsonov
- Dwyer, Kostopoulos, Bowman
Zac Dalpe is the odd man out and will be a healthy extra.
The defensive pairings have been a point of contention for several fans, but there has been no word about changing those up. Joe Corvo and Joni Pitkanen seem to have trouble generating any chemistry between them, so it would seem that the coach would eventually need to do some tweaking there as well. We will see.
Brett Carson was recalled yesterday so that the team could have an extra body on the blueline if needed and he will also be a scratch tonight.
Cam Ward gets the nod in net.
Many experts around the league are picking the Canucks to win the Cup this summer, but we all know that high expectations don't count for much on the ice. Last year the Hurricanes were expected to be a playoff team by most, but promptly went on an early season 14 game winless streak.
A look at the Canucks after the jump:
Vancouver is currently 1-2-1. They have a shoot out loss to the Kings, a win over Florida, a loss to Anaheim, and a most recent 4-1 loss to Los Angeles on Friday night. They will be hungry for points and will feel the pressure to impress in front of the home faithful.
Their starting lines should be:
- Sedin, Sedin, Raymond
- Kesler, Hanson, Tambellini
- Malhotra, Torres, Samuelsson
- Glass, Rypien, Schaefer
((UPDATE)) Ballard is out, Aaron Rome is in for Vancouver blueline.
Roberto Luongo will most likely be taking on Ward in net.
|2010 - Cory Schneider||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2010 - Cam Ward||2||125||2||0||4||1.92||71||67||.944||0|
For more information about the Canucks, check out Nucks Misconduct, our SBN affiliate.
The Hurricanes won last year's matchup between the teams, 5-3 at the RBC. Eric Staal has 6 points in five career games against the 'Nucks.
Jeff Skinner has the longest current point streak going for the Hurricanes and has assists in two straight games.
Tonight's action will start at 9 Eastern and will be broadcast by the regulars, FSN Carolinas and 99.9 The Fan. We will have the open game thread starting up at 8:30.