Top row from left: Vancouver Canucks Cam Barker, Zack Kassian, Andrew Alberts; and bottom from left: Kevin Bieksa, Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler wear replica Vancouver Millionaires uniforms while posing for a team photograph in Vancouver on Friday March 1, 2013. The Millionaires, fronted by Fred ‘Cyclone’ Taylor, won this city’s only Stanley Cup championship in 1914-15. The uniforms will be worn in a game against the visiting Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, March 16.
Photograph by: Darryl Dyck, Canadian Press
DETROIT RED WINGS AT VANCOUVER CANUCKS
TONIGHT, 7 PM, ROGERS ARENA
TV: CBC. RADIO: TEAM 1040
VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Canucks will look like Millionaires tonight at Rogers Arena against the Detroit Red Wings and the question is: will they play like millionaires, too?
The Canucks are honouring 100 years of hockey in B.C. by wearing replica uniforms of Vancouver's only Stanley Cup championship team, the 1915 Vancouver Millionaires who were led by Fred (Cyclone) Taylor. The Millionaires won the chalice before the National Hockey League was formed and Vancouver has been waiting ever since for a second Cup. The drought sits at 97 years.
Red Wing coach Mike Babcock took one look at the Canucks' optional morning skate today with the players wearing Millionaire garb and said: "Which team is this?"
Hopefully for the CanuckS' sake, it isn't the same team that was blown out 8-3 by the Wings in Detroit on Feb. 24.
"We'll be wearing a different uniform and so we're hoping for a different result," said Canuck starting netminder Roberto Luongo, who gave up all eight goals in the Detroit debacle. "The beatdown should be in our minds but, other than that, I think we have to move forward and make sure we are ready to go and show them that the last game was just a blip on the radar."
The Red Wings are 13-10-5 this season but have only won four times on the road in 12 tries (4-6-2). They are coming off a 3-2 come-from-behind overtime victory Friday night in Edmonton. Luongo says it doesn't matter how the Wings are currently faring, he still has the utmost respect for them.
"I never view them as a team that's struggling," he noted. "I think they have really great pieces and guys who can make you pay if you make mistakes. I don't care what their record is. They're a contender ever year and when you do that for so many years in a row, there is a lot of respect that goes along with it."
The Canucks will likely have one lineup change from the group that beat Nashville 7-4 on Thursday. Third-line right winger Zack Kassian has a sore back and, according to Canuck head coach Alain Vignuealt, won't play unless he shows up at the rink tonight feeling 100 per cent.
Assuming Kassian doesn't go, Dale Weise will move into his spot alongside David Booth and Chris Higgins while Tom Sestito will draw back in and skate on the fourth line with Max Lapierre and newcomer Steve Pinizzotto.
"Zack got up Friday morning, felt a little something with his back and made it through practice," Vigneault said, explaining the Kassian issue. "We worked on it yesterday, worked on it again this morning and he tried it this morning. As you all remember, he came to camp with his back tweaked and it seems to be flaring up again so we're going to try and nip this in the bud here. Unless he comes back great tonight, he's probably not going to play."
Vigneault is also hoping the Canucks will be money in the Millionaire outfits.
"I think we look real sharp and I'm hoping that we're going to play as well as we look," he concluded.
Babcock, in his morning sessions with reporters, smiled at the fact he didn't immediately recognize the Canucks in the maroon and cream-coloured uniforms.
"I didn't know who anybody was, to tell you the truth," he said. "Then I kind of got a handle on it. It doesn't much matter what they wear but I always believe when you're an Original Six team, the tradition is something you embrace big time. This is part of the tradition of Vancouver and what's gone on here. I think it's a special thing and good for them that they're doing it."
Both the Canucks and Red Wings have star players in scoring famines. Alex
Burrows has no goals in 10 games and Daniel Sedin has none in six.
Red Wing centre Pavel Datsyuk scored his first goal in 12 games Friday night, the overtime winner in Edmonton. New captain Henrik Zetterberg has no goals in nine games and one goal in 21 while Dan Cleary no goals in nine games.
Jimmy Howard is scheduled to start between the pipes for Detroit. He's 11-7-4 with a 2.44 goals against average and .916 save percentage.
ICE CHIPS: The Canucks power play, mired in an 0-for-28 drought, has sunk to an astonishing 27th in the league... Detroit's power-play is 24th overall but last on the road at 2-for-43, or 4.6 per cent...The Red Wings have scored the first goal in 17 of their 28 games but have only won nine of those (9-6-2). The Canucks have scored first in 15 games and won nine (9-2-4)... Referees for tonight's game are Wes McCauley and Brian Pochmara... Canucks announced today the signing of free-agent forward Kellan Lain, a 6-6, 220-pounder from Lake Superior State University. Lain, 23, is a native of Oakville, Ont. He had 16 points and 111 penalty minutes in 32 games this past season with Lake Superior State.
INJURIES: The Canucks will be without C Ryan Kesler (broken foot) while RW Zack Kassian (back) is very doubtful... The Wings will be missing RW Todd Bertuzzi (back), RW Mikael Samuelsson (finger), C Darren Helm (back), D Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and D Kyle Quincey (cheekbone).
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