Vancouver Canucks (0-0-0) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (0-0-0)
Season Series: 0-0-0
Last Meeting: November 17, 2010. Penguins won 3-1
What we said in our recap:
Marc-Andre Fleury, for the first time all season, seemed extremely confident and nearly flawless. He seemed hell-bent on out playing LOLuongo and he did just that. He was able to bail the Penguins out of a few tough spots late in the second period and he put on the cruise control in the third. Vancouver looked out of sorts and vastly overrated.
Know Your Enemy: Benched Whale
What they're saying:
And for the first time in months, I am now excited to start this hockey season. I'm not sure if the Pensblog writers felt this way about the beginning of the season after they had lost to Detroit in the SCF, but it took a while to care about hockey.
Can the Canucks do what they did last year? Impossible to predict and also unlikely to happen. So let's move on from what happened last year, and enjoy the beginning of the season for what it is. Hockey is back, be grateful, because if we have a lock-out next year, you won't get the joy of feeling like today is Christmas.
Head over to the boys at The Pensblog for your opposition blog coverage. I might be jumping on their pre-game podcast, so if you want to give it a listen. I'm sure I'll get ripped in their c-blog for my podcast appearance.
Pittsburgh Penguins Notes:
Brooks Orpik is a game-time decision.
Matt Cooke returns to Vancouver and he's trying not to kill anyone.
More on Malkin.
Vancouver Canucks Notes:
There are many questions for the Canucks.
Dale Weise has been picked up by the Canucks.
Favorite Canucks-Related Image, Photoshop or Gif:
Vancouver Rioters are Dumb Rioters:
Pittsburgh Penguins lines from Penguins.NHL.com:
Steve Sullivan - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke - Mark Letestu - Pascal Dupuis
Arron Asham - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Kris Letang - Deryk Engelland
Matt Niskanen - Ben Lovejoy
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Looking forward to that Sullivan-Malkin-Neal line.
Vancouver Canucks lines from Canucks.NHL.com:
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows
Marco Sturm - Cody Hodgson - Mikael Samuelsson
Chris Higgins - Manny Malhotra - Jannik Hansen
Aaron Volpatti - Maxim Lapierre - Dale Weise
Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Sami Salo - Alexander Edler
Keith Ballard - Christopher Tanev
We hope Cooke and Lapierre get into each other's faces. Fans around the league wouldn't know who the cheer for.
Prediction: You'll hear "LUUUUUUUUUUU" about 345 times tonight before he's pulled in the second period.
Luongo can't win a big game in Vancouver without Sidney Crosby on his team.
Hockey's back. Finally.
The last time we saw the Penguins play real hockey it was April. The last time we saw Evgeni Malkin play a full game, it was February. It's been a long time. A very long time. And we've been waiting. We've been waiting for this night.
It's been an awful summer in almost every way. But now hockey's back. A fresh sheet of ice has never looked better.
A few months ago the Stanley Cup was presented in Vancouver. This season, once again, that Cup is the Pittsburgh Penguins' goal. It's one of the toughest goals in sports to accomplish. There are ups and downs and obstacles along the way. We saw that last year. A season can turn around in an instant. Nothing is guaranteed. We'll all starting from zero again tonight. The journey begins again. It's going to be tough. It's going to be painful. At times we'll want to scream with joy and other times we'll scream in anger. Sometimes we won't know what to do. But that's the sport we love. That's hockey.
And we wouldn't want it any other way.
We'll have our pregame show at 9:30.