The Canucks will see one lineup change tonight against the Detroit Red Wings as Jason Krog will slot back in and Jannik Hansen
After leaving the game against the Ducks two minutes into the overtime period, Hansen missed the epic shootout and will miss tonight's matchup against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
According to head coach, Alain Vigneault, Hansen is out with an all too familiar (to Canucks fans) groin injury. He is currently listed as day to day and will be re-evaluated in the coming week.
Hansen has three goals and four assists in seven games this year and is the fourth leading scorer amongst rookies in the NHL.
Krog will skate on a wing with Ryan Kesler
and Alex Burrows, the team's leading scorers.
Since being recalled October 21 in relief of injuries to Pavol Demitra and Rick Rypien, Krog has dressed in three games, scoring a goal against the Edmonton Oilers on October 25th.
Krog has missed the last two games since seeing ice time in the Canucks' 1-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.
He earned his recall after a short four-game stint in Manitoba, where he scored a goal and added five assists. The former Calder Cup MVP will try to show the big club what he brought into do and maybe quickly form some chemistry with Burrows and Kesler.CONFIDENCE DOES WONDERS
For the past two seasons, the Canucks have been criticized for a lack of offense but this year, with some new faces on the bench, the story has changed.
Vancouver is fourth in the league, scoring 3.46 goals per game, compared to their 2.52 goals in 07-08 and 2.65 goals in 06-07 – both ranking in the bottom third of the league.
While the season is still young and the Canucks are only just 10 games in, this is a positive sign for a team that has struggled to put pucks in the net. The team has scored 16 goals in the last four games and what’s more impressive is that the goals came from 11 different players.
"It's good," said Alex Burrows, who's tied for 2nd in scoring for the Canucks. "I think all four lines are rolling right now, I think that everybody's got confidence that they can score goals."
"We're getting scoring from all over the place," said Kevin Bieksa
. "We're getting a couple of powerplay goals, we’re getting different guys chipping in here and there. There's new energy and guys are playing with confidence, puck are finding the back of the net."
The Canucks started the season with a less than stellar powerplay, hovering at the bottom of the list but has since jumped to ninth position, having scored eight goals on 20 man-advantages in their last four games.SPECIAL TEAMS BATTLE
With the likes of Marian Hossa, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk, just to name a few, on the Detroit Red Wings, the Canucks quite a challenge ahead of them Sunday at GM Place.
The Canucks open a six-game homestand that sees them at home for a two-week span, which is longer than they've been home all season. Vancouver's played just three games at home with a record of 2-1-0, suffering their only loss to the Boston Bruins last Tuesday.
Vancouver is flawless on the penalty kill, stopping all 12 opponents' powerplay chances and will need to be in top form against the League's best powerplay.
Detroit has converted on 30.4% of their powerplay opportunities overall and slightly below that on the road at 29.0%. They've scored at least one goal with the man-advantage in all but two games this year.
"They're very difficult, they've got a lot of skill," said Bieksa. "They're dangerous off the rush, they're dangerous cycling in the corner and they're another team, much like Anaheim, you don't want to take penalties against to give them the powerplay."
The Canucks took 12 penalties against the Ducks Friday night, which included a four-minute double minor and a fighting major, and surrendered three powerplay goals – the most all year. They'll want to cut down on that number today with a Red Wings powerplay that's ready to get back on track after being blanked in their last outing.
On the flip side, Detroit's penalty kill is 23rd in the League (just behind the Canucks) but ranked at 27th on the road. They've allowed 10 powerplay goals against on 38 chances.
While the Canucks are scoring more goals than in the last two seasons, the Red Wings haven't stopped scoring goals. They're second in the league, scoring 3.54 goals per game.
"They're very creative with the puck so we've got to make sure we don't give them much room to maneuver out there," said Roberto Luongo
, who let in three goals against Detroit in the teams' first meeting earlier this year. "We're going to have to be in their face all night and for my part, I have to be aware of where their line is on the ice and make sure that if they're in a position to shoot that I'm ready to make the save."
Game time is 7:00pm PST on Sportsnet Pacific.OTHER NEWS:
Tune in immediately after tonight's game to watch live post-game interviews from the Canucks dressing room and Coach Alain Vigneault's press conference.