Canucks Game Day: Well-rested St. Louis Blues to be stiff challenge for road-weary Vancouver

 

 
 
 
 
‘We could mail it in, but we’re not going to,’ says Ryan Kesler, here being checked by New Jersey Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov during Thursday night’s 3-2 Canucks shootout in, of tonight’s game in St. Louis against the well-rested Blues. ‘We are going there to win a hockey game against a good team.’
 
 

‘We could mail it in, but we’re not going to,’ says Ryan Kesler, here being checked by New Jersey Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov during Thursday night’s 3-2 Canucks shootout in, of tonight’s game in St. Louis against the well-rested Blues. ‘We are going there to win a hockey game against a good team.’

Photograph by: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

ST. LOUIS — It’s said that rust never sleeps, and the Vancouver Canucks certainly hope that is true when it comes to the St. Louis Blues.

The Canucks stagger into St. Louis tonight (5 p.m. Pacific, on Sportsnet Pacific, Team 1040) to play their fifth game in a week. The Blues haven’t played in the past week so there’s no doubt who the tired team will be.

The Canucks will be hoping it might take the Blues some time to find their legs.

“There’s tons of excuses,” said Vancouver centre Ryan Kesler, who has been a workhorse on this trip and now leads the Canucks with five goals. “We could mail it in, but we’re not going to. We are going there to win a hockey game against a good team. They are a good team that is rested and waiting for us. But we are going to go at them right from the start.”

The Canucks will do that with a makeshift lineup. Vancouver lost two more forwards Thursday night, when Dale Weise and David Booth went down with first-period injuries. They are already without forwards Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen and Jordan Schroeder.

Vancouver recalled forwards Darren Archibald and Pascal Pelletier from their AHL farm team in Uitica late Thursday night. Both are expected to play tonight.

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Archibald has not played a NHL game, while Pelletier has 13 NHL games on his resume with Chicago and Boston.

While the Canucks have been slugging it out on what is their longest road trip of the season, the Blues have been resting up. They spent part of this past week on a team-bonding retreat in South Carolina and have not played since last Friday night in Winnipeg. They have played just seven games this season, the fewest in the NHL, while the Canucks will be playing their league-high 13th of the season.

The Blues enter tonight’s game with a record of 5-1-1, while Vancouver is 7-4-1 and 4-1-1 through the first six games of their seven-game trip.

“It’s going to be a real high tempo,” Blues centre Patrik Berglund told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “They have played four or five games more than us. They’re really into it, so we need to focus on being ready. I think we’ve been doing a good job.”

The Canucks are expected to start backup Eddie Lack tonight. Jaroslav Halak will get the start for the Blues.

• PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Henrik Sedin, Canucks: The Vancouver captain assisted on both Canuck goals in Thursday night’s 3-2 shootout win in New Jersey and is second in the NHL with 15 points in 12 games.

Alex Steen, Blues: Steen has feasted on the Canucks in recent years and leads the Blues with 11 points in the team’s first seven games this season. He plays on the Blues’ top line with David Backes and T.J. Oshie.

• INJURIES:

Blues: None.

Canucks: Vancouver is without centre Jordan Schroeder (ankle) and wingers Alex Burrows (foot), Jannik Hansen (upper body), David Booth (lower body) and Dale Weise (lower body).

ICE CHIPS: St. Louis will be without centre Maxim Lapierre, who is serving a five-game suspension for his hit-from-behind on San Jose defenceman Dan Boyle … The Canucks will charter home immediately after the game. They begin a three-game homestand Monday night against the Washington Capitals.

bziemer@vancouversun.com

Twitter.com/bradziemer

 
 
 
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‘We could mail it in, but we’re not going to,’ says Ryan Kesler, here being checked by New Jersey Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov during Thursday night’s 3-2 Canucks shootout in, of tonight’s game in St. Louis against the well-rested Blues. ‘We are going there to win a hockey game against a good team.’
 

‘We could mail it in, but we’re not going to,’ says Ryan Kesler, here being checked by New Jersey Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov during Thursday night’s 3-2 Canucks shootout in, of tonight’s game in St. Louis against the well-rested Blues. ‘We are going there to win a hockey game against a good team.’

Photograph by: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

 
‘We could mail it in, but we’re not going to,’ says Ryan Kesler, here being checked by New Jersey Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov during Thursday night’s 3-2 Canucks shootout in, of tonight’s game in St. Louis against the well-rested Blues. ‘We are going there to win a hockey game against a good team.’
Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates with Alexander Edler #23 and Dan Hamhuis #2 after defeating the New Jersey Devils.
(L-R) Daniel Sedin #22, Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler #17 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrate Daniel Sedin’s goal at 12:37 of the second period.
Roberto Luongo #1 and the Vancouver Canucks defend the net against the New Jersey Devils.
Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks stops a shot by Michael Ryder #17 of the New Jersey Devils.
Marek Zidlicky #2 of the New Jersey Devils hits Daniel Sedin #22 of the Vancouver Canucks.
Eric Gelinas #22 of the New Jersey Devils dumps Daniel Sedin #22 of the Vancouver Canucks during the third period.
Brad Richardson #15 of the Vancouver Canucks hits Marek Zidlicky #2 of the New Jersey Devils.
Damien Brunner #12 of the New Jersey Devils slides across the ice as Dan Hamhuis #2 of the Vancouver Canucks skates past him.
Eric Gelinas #22 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates his first NHL goal scored on the power play at 9:41 of the first period.
Anton Volchenkov #28 of the New Jersey Devils pursues Chris Higgins #20 of the Vancouver Canucks.
Steve Bernier #18 of the New Jersey Devils and Ryan Stanton #18 of the Vancouver Canucks battle for the puck.
Andrei Loktionov #21 of the New Jersey Devils fights for control of the puck against Chris Higgins #20 of the Vancouver Canucks.
Damien Brunner #12 of the New Jersey Devils steps into Mike Santorelli #25 of the Vancouver Canucks.
Mike Santorelli #25 and the Vancouver Canucks celebrate his game winning shootout goal against the New Jersey Devils.
Alexander Edler #23 of the Vancouver Canucks looks for an incoming shot as Steve Bernier #18 of the New Jersey Devils waits for the rebound.
Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by his teammates after defeating the New Jersey Devils in a shootout at Prudential Center on October 24, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Canucks defeat the Devils 3-2.
Dan Hamhuis #2 of the Vancouver Canucks checks Stephen Gionta #11 of the New Jersey Devils.
Michael Ryder #17 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks.
Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils deflects the puck as Ryan Kesler #17 of the Vancouver Canucks looks for a rebound.
Chris Higgins #20 of the Vancouver Canucks hits the metal behind Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils.
(L-R) Daniel Sedin #22, Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler #17 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrate Daniel Sedin’s goal at 12:37 of the second period goal.
Eric Gelinas #22 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates his first NHL goal scored on the power play at 9:41 of the first period against the Vancouver Canucks at the Prudential Center on October 24, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
Kevin Bieksa #3 of the Vancouver Canucks controls the puck while being pursued by Damien Brunner #12 of the New Jersey Devils.
Dan Hamhuis #2 of the Vancouver Canucks hits the boards during the game against the New Jersey Devils.
Chris Tanev #8 of the Vancouver Canucks looks to block a shot by Damien Brunner #12 of the New Jersey Devils.
Andrei Loktionov #21 of the New Jersey Devils skates against Alexander Edler #23 of the Vancouver Canucks.
Tom Sestito #29 of the Vancouver Canucks and Mark Fayne #7 of the New Jersey Devils exchange pushes.
Eric Gelinas #22 of the New Jersey Devils (L) scores his first NHL goal on the power play at 9:41 of the first period against Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks at the Prudential Center on October 24, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils makes a second period save against the Vancouver Canucks at the Prudential Center on October 24, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
Kevin Bieksa #3 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the New Jersey Devils.
Former teammates Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils and Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks play against each other at the Prudential Center on October 24, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
Adam Larsson #5 of the New Jersey Devils hits Mike Santorelli #25 of the Vancouver Canucks.
David Booth #7 of the Vancouver Canucks steps into Eric Gelinas #22 of the New Jersey Devils.
Anton Volchenkov #28 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Vancouver Canucks.
Ryan Kesler #17 of the Vancouver Canucks scores at 6:17 of the first period against Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils.
Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks gets tangled up with Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 24, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
Ryan Kesler #17 of the Vancouver Canucks is poke checked by Anton Volchenkov #28 of the New Jersey Devils.
Andy Greene #6 of the New Jersey Devils tries to control the puck while being pursued by Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks.
Mike Santorelli #25 of the Vancouver Canucks controls the puck while being pursued by Dainius Zubrus #8 of the New Jersey Devils.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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