The Canucks look to change their luck on the road tonight as they visit the United Center and the Chicago Blackhawks. Last season, the teams split their regular season series before meeting again in the second round of the playoffs, when Chicago knocked out Vancouver in six games.
Vancouver is 2-3-1 going into tonight’s game, the second of a back to back, while Chicago is 4-2-1 coming off an overtime win over the St. Louis Blues on Monday.
Roberto Luongo gets the start tonight after playing just two periods in Minnesota last night.
Dan Hamhuis remains a game time decision. He will skate in the warm up, but may not play due to a foot injury suffered during Sunday’s game against Carolina.
The team did not practice today but Ryan Parent, who played with Kevin Bieksa last night will likely remain there if Hamhuis doesn’t dress.
Chicago’s lineup has gone through some significant changes since last season.
Nine players who took part in Chicago’s playoff run last season are no longer part of the roster. The players are: forwards John Madden, Andrew Ladd, Kris Versteeg, Dustin Byfuglien, Adam Burish, Ben Eager, defensemen Brent Sopel and goalies Antti Niemi, and Cristobal Huet.
Despite playing in Minnesota last night, the back to back games for the Canucks could work in their favor. Last season the team had a 10-3-1 record in the second game of consecutive games.
TUESDAY NIGHT MILESTONES
Head coach Alain Vigneault celebrated his 600th game as an NHL coach last night. He’s had 184 wins in 334 games with the Canucks. This puts him second in franchise history for most wins as a coach, behind Mark Crawford (246 wins in 529 games).
Coach V was not sentimental about reaching this milestone, focusing on the game ahead.
"Obviously it's a pretty high number, 600 games is quite a few games," he said to Province reporter, Brad Zeimer. "But at the end of the day it is just another game for me.
Vigneault was honoured with the Jack Adams award, given to the coach who is voted to have contributed most to the team’s success in his first season with Vancouver in 2006-07.
As of last night Daniel and Henrik Sedin are now tied for fifth place on the all-time franchise list for longest consecutive game point streaks to start a season, with six games apiece. The record was set in 1983 by Tony Tanti, who recorded 23 points in the first 11 games of the season.