HUNGRY FOR REDEMPTION
The Canucks head back to the United Center tonight to face off against the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time since the Hawks eliminated Vancouver from the playoffs in a 7-5 blowout.
"They took something from us that the other 28 teams didn't,” explained Ryan Kesler. “We're still upset. Everybody still remembers the feeling after Game 6. There will be a sense of redemption."
"There's always a little something the year after," said Roberto Luongo. "A couple of years ago, every time we played Anaheim, we always had that little extra jump just because they were the team that eliminated you. I'm sure all the guys are hungry to get back out there and play in Chicago."
“All the emotions will come back [tonight],”said Willie Mitchell. “They'll know and we'll know."
But, the Canucks know they have to put emotions aside and play smart as the team is still looking for their first road win of the season going 0-4-0 away from home.
“We have to play tough, as far as finishing our checks and battling along the walls,” said Mitchell.
“But we can't get distracted from our focus on how we need to play. Guys like me have to make sure we tone things down because that's what got us into problems."
The Canucks are coming off a 2-1 loss to Edmonton Tuesday night and the Blackhawks are fresh off a 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars. Last season, these two teams split their series going 2-2-0.
Puck drops at 5:30 PST.
Expected line up:
Samuelsson – H. Sedin – Burrows
Grabner – Kesler - Raymond
Bolduc – Wellwood - Bernier
Glass – Johnson – Rypien
Mitchell - Edler
Brien - Bieksa
Rome – Ehrhoff
Rick Rypien, who tweaked his groin Monday night, will remain a game time decision. Darcy Hordichuk is expected to suit up if Rypien is scratched.
The Canucks power play, that was connecting early this season, has gone 0-10 in the last two games. The club’s getting plenty of shots on net, however, they’ve had trouble burying rebounds and getting good quality shots through.
"I think it's good, though,” said Mikael Samuelsson. “We have to keep doing it, I know that. It's better that than not getting any shots. Sooner or later, they have to go in."
With two top six forwards out, Daniel Sedin (foot) and Pavol Demitra (shoulder), the Canucks are pushing for all four lines to contribute offensively.
The Canucks are ranked 11th in the league for goals scored with 28.