The Vancouver Canucks have re assigned defensemen Ryan Parent to the Manitoba Moose on a conditioning assignment.
The 23 year-old has played in 106 NHL games, including four with the Canucks this season.
“In Ryan’s case it’s unfortunate that he only got a couple of games in. He came in as our 8th defensemen, and has not played much. We hope it can be similar to when we sent Romer down there last year, he went down there, had tons of ice time, played real well, got his confidence back and when he came back here he was real useful to us.”
The 6'3” Saskatchewan native was originally drafted 18th overall by the Nashville Predators in 2005. The Canucks acquired Parent in October along with forward Jonas Andersson in exchange for Shane O'Brien and Dan Gendur.
GAME DAY NOTES
The Canucks face off against the San Jose Sharks tonight in Rogers Arena. Both teams are coming off wins, which were preceded by short losing slumps.
Vancouver hopes to use the same strategy that led to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
“We were patient, stuck with our game plan,” said starting goaltender Roberto Luongo. “We waited for the other team to make mistakes, and when they did we scored some goals. We have some good special teams, so if we improve our five on five and stay patient with our system we should get some good results.”
“We played much better defensively, we didn’t give them a lot, and playing well defensively we’re going to get more turnovers and we’re more offensively that way,” said Alex Burrows, who recorded two points Wednesday night. “So we have to make sure we think about that again, and follow up with another big effort.”
San Jose is home to some top scorers, including Dan Heatley who has five points in his last five games (8-12-20). He is currently third in league scoring since the NHL lockout, behind only Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk.
“We’re only a couple of games with the same D pairings,” said coach Alain Vigneault, referring to the new pairings of Edler and Ehrhoff, Hamhuis with Bieksa and Alberts paired with Ballard. “Hopefully the guys can start feeling that trust that is needed between team mates to know when it’s time to step in, and know when to back off so you can make the right play.”
The Sharks may be down a starting forward at game time. Centre Scott Nichol took a puck to the eye during 2 on 1 drills at practice this morning. He was quickly patched up, but no definite word on if he will play tonight.
Tonight is particularly noteworthy for two Canucks. Not only is it Keith Ballard’s 28th birthday, but it is also the first time Manny Malhotra will face his 2009-10 team. Malhotra scored 14 goals (14-19-33) in 71 games with the Sharks. He also appeared in 15 post season outings, advancing to the Western Conference Finals before they were defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Last season, the Sharks beat the Canucks in three of four meetings.
“They’re a big, physical, highly skilled team, and in the past they have seen the better of us,” said Vigneault. “That being said I think we’re a better team than we were last year, and I think they’re a different team.”
“I think that now we’re a little bigger up front, and a little harder to play against, and we’re going g to have an opportunity to prove that tonight.”
TOUGHEST OF THE TOUGH
The Canucks continue their 40th season celebration tonight by honouring the franchise’s toughest during tonight’s “Tough Guys” presentations featuring highlights from 40 years of the teams hardest hitters and feistiest fighters, including Rick Rypien, Tiger Williams, Jack McIlhargey, Curt Fraser and franchise leader in penalty minutes (2217) Gino Odjick