Blackhawks @ Canucks, 9:00 pm CST

Since Mats Sundin played his first game as a Vancouver Canuck on January 7th, the Canucks are 2-5-3, and Sundin has five points and is a minus-four.  Most recently, though, Sundin picked up a goal and an assist in a Canucks win on Tuesday over Tuomo Ruutu and the Carolina Hurricanes.  Sundin also won 15 of 19 draws.

The ‘Nucks, as always, are led by the Sedin brothers, who become unrestricted free agents following this season.  Each averages just under a point per game; Daniel, the winger, has 22 goals and 49 points, while Henrik, the center, has 39 assists and 47 points.  Both have played all 51 Vancouver games.  (Each has a cap hit of $3.575 per.  Awww, isn’t that cute?  Matching contracts.)  From there, Vancouver has only one scorer with at least 30 points – third line center Ryan Kesler, who has 30 – and five others with at least 20 in Pavol Demitra, Kevin Bieska, Alexandre Burrows and Steve Bernier, the centerpiece of the Brian Campbell Buffalo-San Jose deal last season.  Kyle Wellwood has 14 goals with eight coming on the power play.  Finally, Roberto Luongo has allowed at least four goals in four of six games since his return in mid-January.

The ‘Hawks have beaten the Canucks twice already this season – once at home and another on the road.

Just In Time

The ‘Hawks welcome the Dallas Stars to the United Center next Saturday – Valentine’s Day – on their first game following the current eight-game road trip.  The Stars have won six of their last seven, and got goals from Mike Ribeiro, James Neal – two each – Brian Sutherby, Brad Richards, Jere Lehtinen, Fabian Brunnstrom, Steve Ott and Darryl Sydor last night against the New Tork Rangers.  Marty Turco, who has turned his season around, hasn’t given up more than three goals in a loss since January 8th, and has two shuouts since January 10th.

Around the League

Joe Thornton plays only his second game back in Boston this [edit: Tuesday] evening since the 2005 trade that brought him to San Jose.  The 2005 deal netted Boston Brad Stuart, Marco Sturn and Wayne Primeau, and cost former Bruins’ General Manager Mike O’Connell his job.

St. Louis Blues’ goalie Manny Legace was placed on waivers by the club yesterday.  Opinions as to what will happen to Legace are all over the map.  Legace is in the final year of his deal, and he makes $2.5 million this season.  This leaves 32-year old Chris Mason as the starting goaltender.  “Mason told FSN that he attributes his recent string of play to the fact that he feels lighter after getting his eyebrows tweezed and nose hairs waxed on January 15th,” according to TSN.ca. 

That’s funny.  I credit this site’s recent success to some “manscaping” my partner John received in late January.

Remembering the Greatest Canucklehead

Finally, from John himself: Thank God this guy is not suiting up for the Canucks tonight.  If he was, Cam Barker and Brian Campbell should just save everyone the trouble and just put on orange jumpsuits because they’d be a cone to him.  Anyone who saw Pavel Bure play can tell you how ridiculously talented he was.  Unfortunately, for a guy who was probably one of the top 3 players of the 1990’s, I don’t feel like nearly enough people remember him for it.  Maybe it’s that whole connection to the Russian mafia thing.  Anyways, here’s a little montage of him making defensemen and goalies look like a bunch of ankle benders.  Go to 2:25 of the video if you want to say hi to old friend and perennial Norris Trophy candidate Franistek Kucera.

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