Canucks Report - Sundin's game debut
Tale of the tape
Sundin in Edmonton
Saves of the week
The Canucks look to bounce back from their 3-2 shootout loss to Dallas on Sunday with a win over Edmonton. The rematch between the two Northwest division teams will be an intense battle as the season series sits evenly at 2-2-0.
The last time the Canucks faced the Oilers, at GM Place on December 26th, Edmonton walked away with a 3-2 as Vancouver failed to break their Boxing Day losing streak. Tonight however the Canucks will have a little edge in the form of Mats Sundin.
While Sundin will not be playing the minutes he used to until his legs and lungs adapt to the NHL pace, his skill and experience will make the players around him better.
In 1,305 career NHL games, spanning 13 seasons with Toronto and four with the Quebec Nordiques Sundin amassed 555 goals, 776 assists for a grand total of 1,321 points.
Expect to see Kyle Wellwood and Mason Raymond centred by Sundin, as the powerful Swede plays in his first NHL game since the end of the Maple Leafs disappointing season last April.
Wellwood and Sundin played together in Toronto and look to pick up where they left off. In 34 games playing alongside Sundin, Wellwood accumulated 31 points before he was sidelined with sports hernia injury. Already having tallied a career high 14 goals, including eight on the power play and three game winners, Wellwood is on pace of a 30 goal season.
“I'm looking forward to playing with him because there are so many free points there," said Wellwood. "I'm so familiar with where he can score goals at. He's a fast player who doesn't delay much. You have to keep the puck in front of him. I definitely have a familiarity there, and I know what he's looking for."
Jason LaBarbera will start in net tonight, his fourth consecutive game since joining the Canucks in Nashville last week. The 28 year old, BC native, acquired from LA for a 7th round draft pick in 2009, has been outstanding between the pipes, posting an impressive 1.89 goals against average and .943 save percentage, earning a point in each of the three games he played (1-0-2).
D-man Sami Salo remains out of the line up but skated Tuesday for the second day after breaking a rib. Ryan Johnson participated in his second full practice with the team yesterday and despite problems with his injured finger will likely be game ready next week.
Tonight’s Northwest Divisional tilt faces off at 7:00pm PST and can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific.
The Vancouver Canucks are pleased to announce that goaltender and captain Roberto Luongo has been named to the Western Conference All-Star Team for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal, Quebec, on January 25th. Luongo will represent the Vancouver Canucks for the annual event.
Luongo was enjoying another outstanding campaign leading the league in shutouts (5) with a save percentage of .928 and a GAA of 2.17 through the first 20 games of the season. He established a franchise record with a shutout streak that spanned 242:36 and four games. This is the third straight year that Luongo has been named to the Western Conference All-Star Team while playing for the Vancouver Canucks.
Luongo was named to the Western All-Star team alongside goaltenders Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the Anaheim Ducks and Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild.
The injured Canucks netminder has missed 20 games with a groin injury. Luongo continues to skate with goalie consultant Ian Clark and had a good day yesterday, staying on the ice for over an hour.
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