Quack In Anaheim
If the Canucks are going to make it five, they'll need great goaltending against an Anaheim side that ranks 7th in the league in goals-per-game at 3.17.
It's a challenge for anyone, especially a back-up who's playing behind workaholic Roberto Luongo.
"Any time I don't decide to go with [Luongo] there's going to be some debate on whether it's the right call or not," said Alain Vigneault. "But I've given this some thought for quite awhile."
Dany Sabourin has started just three games this year - his last a 4-3 shootout loss in Buafflo Jan 19th.
Sabourin has yet to record an NHL win in a combined eight NHL starts with Calgary, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver.
"I don't want to think about that," said Sabourin. " I just want to go and play solid and play my game just like I did my last couple of games."
"I just went in there and [tried to] have some fun and play like I can."
Roberto Luongo has started 11 straight since the All-Star game going 7-2-2. The Canucks are in the midst of a two-week run that will see them play seven games in seven different cities.
Brendan Morrison's on a streak scoring four goals in his last four games - though that run pales in comparison to his other streak.
Mr. Pitt Meadows currently holds the second longest active streak in the NHL with 489 straight games played (481 games with the Canucks and eight with New Jersey). Morrison trails only Karlis Skrastins who has played 492 consecutive games (through Feb. 16/07).
Tonight in Anaheim he'll tie Trevor Linden's franchise record of 482 consecutive games played.
"It's outstanding for Mo," said Linden. "Last year, what he went through to stick it out and we were chasing down a playoff spot and he had the hip injury which was getting worse and worse, it cost him a lot of rehab time in the summer just because he played on it for so long."
"It says a lot. Every player goes through times in the year when they don't think they can play... Everyone tries to play all the games, but sometimes you just can't."
Morrison has played five straight 82-game seasons.
WHO'S ON FIRST
The Canucks currently hold top spot in the division with 72 points - two points up on the Flames and three ahead of the Wild.
With Calgary at Colorado tonight, and the Wild hosting the Stars, the Canucks will need another two points to keep the wolves off their heels.
"Everyone talks about first place, first place. Yeah, we want to end up there, but our focus has to be on our play," said Canucks center Brendan Morrison.
Minnesota has played one more game, but are the hottest team in the Northwest right now who don't wear a whale on their jerseys.
The Canucks are 7-2-1 in their past ten games, but have squeaked out a few close ones of late by virtue of luck and goaltending.
They edged the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 Sunday but struggled defensively giving up 36 shots.
"I'm happy with the win, but I don't think we played sharp," Canucks forward Markus Naslund said. "We've got to cut down on the mistakes."
The Canucks are giving up 30 shots per game on average, yet have given up three or less in 19 of the 23 games since Christmas.