Saturday, March 17, 2007

Game Day: Red Wings at Canucks

The Canucks play their second-last Saturday night home game of the regular season tonight when they entertain the Detroit Red Wings. The Canucks have won two of three meetings against the Wings so far, but both of those wins were at the Joe.

The Wings certainly aren't taking the Canucks lightly:
The Canucks are in first place in their division, are virtually unbeatable when leading after two periods and are one of the toughest teams in the NHL to score against.

Those three accomplishments have a great deal to do with last summer's decision to acquire Roberto Luongo, one of the biggest and best goaltenders in the league. The Wings, who play the Canucks tonight at GM Place, have lost to him twice this season, and they're not the only ones. Luongo is 40-20-5 with a 2.35 goals-against average, but more impressive than his stats is the impact he has had on the Canucks.

"Oh, he's changed them," Wings coach Mike Babcock said Friday. "I mean, they used to try to race you to seven. They play now. They make it hard for you to play. Lu is one of the best goalies in the world. He gives your team confidence. If your team has confidence in their goalie, they don't run around in their own zone because they know he's going to do the job."
Here's more love from Detroit:

"He's been unbelievable," Red Wings forward Kris Draper said. "A lot of (us) probably weren't paying attention of what he was doing in Florida, but you bring him into a Canadian market, and he's getting the attention now of what a great goaltender he is."
And here are some more pregame fodder:
  • One player who Canucks fans have been dying to show the love to is Todd Bertuzzi, ex-Canuck and current Red Wing, but he won't be at GM Place tonight; he's in Grand Rapids, Michigan skating with the Wings' farm team. And no, he won't be on the ice either when the Griffins take on the Manitoba Moose.
  • Chris Chelios, the ageless wonder, will play, of course. And apparently, he may play until he's 50. (Shit, I thought he was 50 already.)
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 10:30 AM


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