The last time the New York Rangers came to Vancouver and left with a win was on October 11, 1997. Wayne Gretzky recorded a hat trick, including the game-winning goal, and two assists to pace the Blueshirts.
Since then the Rangers are 0-5-0 in Vancouver with the Canucks looking to add another loss to that record and extend their lengthy winning streak.
The Canucks will have one of their biggest weapons back to help the cause.
Ryan Kesler will make his season debut tonight after sitting out the first five games of the season recovering from off-season hip surgery. He declared himself 100 per cent, ready to rock, Monday after practice and reiterated the same Tuesday following an optional game-day skate.
Kesler is slated to center Vancouver’s second line, flanked by Chris Higgins and Cody Hodgson.
For a complete preview of tonight’s game, check out Daniel Fung’s Tale of the Tape.
WEISE TO SCORE?
If history repeats itself for Dale Weise, he will score his first goal of the season tonight against the Rangers, his former team.
“The same thing happened to me in junior, I got cut when I was 17, then I got traded, then in my first game in the Western League against Medicine Hat, I ended up scoring my first goal, so this is the same situation and hopefully I have the same luck,” laughed the fourth-line bruiser.
Weise has kept in touch with a few former New York teammates since being dealt to Vancouver, namely Michael Del Zotto and Kris Newbury. He spoke with both when they got to town Sunday and even went for supper with Newbury, who was recently recalled from Connecticut of the AHL.
Weise, Newbury and Del Zotto are all hard hitters, but that isn’t going to stop any of them from letting up if push comes to shove once the puck drops.
“I’m here to do a job, I’m here to win and obviously they’re here to do the same thing. I’ve got no problems playing against my buddies and stuff like that. I’m happy to go out and if I get a chance to smash Del Zotto as hard as he’s going to smash me, I’ll be happy to do it.”
We’ll be happy to see it.
‘Heart of A Canuck’ - Rick Rypien night takes place Tuesday when the Canucks host the Rangers. Rypien was a valued member of the Canucks family for six years before his sudden passing this past summer.
The organization will host the Rypien family this evening and celebrate the life of a great friend, teammate and family member of our hockey club and our fans. The Canucks organization is dedicated to building awareness and supporting children and young adults who suffer from the same challenges that Rypien did.
A pre-game video will be shown at Rogers Arena, a video the Canucks saw yesterday after they met Rypien’s family members. This was dealt with a day early in an attempt to make an emotional night a little easier to get through.
“It’s something that’s necessary to do, it’s not going to be easy, but we’ll get through it as best we can and then we’ll concentrate on the game,” said Kevin Bieksa, a very close friend of Rypien.
“He was a good friend, a teammate, he was like a brother to me too. We were close, we spent a lot of years together, shared a lot together and he was a part of my life at big times and vice-versa, so it’s tough.”
‘Heart of a Canuck’ - Rick Rypien night ceremony will be streamed live on Canucks.com and to mobile devices through the Canucks App on October 18th. The ceremony will take place prior to the Canucks-New York Rangers game and begins at 7:04 pm.
The ceremony will feature a video tribute to Rypien as well as an on-ice presentation. The game versus the Rangers will begin on TSN at 7:15 pm.