Tonight marks the first of three meetings between the Vancouver Canucks (27-18-3) and the Winnipeg Jets (26-18-8). The two clubs are side by side in the standings holding onto the two wild card spots in the Western Conference. The Canucks are 1-3 in their last four games and their power play has gone on a downward spiral going two for its past 23 in the last six games. Keep in mind that both of those goals were tallied against Buffalo’s 29th ranked penalty kill.
On Superbowl Sunday the Canucks’ late game heroics weren’t enough as they fell short against the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Although it was the Canucks best third period this season, a 20 minute effort is not enough to come away with a win in this league.
Zack Kassian’s name has been in the middle of trade speculations for weeks and he expressed his feelings earlier this week.
“Am I frustrated? You guys have no idea how effing frustrated I am. But that’s the way it is. I’m not going to sit here and sulk. I just have to find a way.”
Kassian has been a healthy scratch numerous times this season and the 24 year old winger will sit out tonight against the Jets. According to Kassian, his inconsistent play won’t go anywhere if he continues to be sidelined,
“It’s tough to score when you’re riding the bike.”
Some believe it’s only a matter of time when Kassian will have to return his Canucks jersey, be it before the NHL trade deadline or later in the off-season.
The Canucks will have to give Eddie Lack some scoring help tonight as they have only scored one goal in Lack’s last two starts. Frank Corrado is out with an undisclosed injury and in his place is Ryan Stanton. He’ll play alongside his former AHL Rockford defensive partner Adam Clendening.
Puck drop is set for 7pm.