Every Wednesday we take a look at The Week Ahead to see what storylines we’ll be following, because Wednesday is a day meant for looking ahead to the future. Around here we call Wednesday “Future Day” and we all wear silver jumpsuits and big bubble space helmets. Doesn’t everybody do that?
Thursday, December 19th
Away vs the Dallas Stars
The Canucks’ second game of a short three-game jaunt through the Central Division, their last road trip before the Christmas break, is a visit to Dallas. There are two players the Canucks absolutely need to keep quiet in this game. No, it’s not Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, although that’s ideal too. It’s Kevin Connauton, whom the Canucks shipped to Texas for the right to test drive Derek Roy, and Valeri Nichushkin, whom the Canucks passed on to draft Bo Horvat at ninth overall this summer.
If either one of these guys scores a goal, you can expect Vancouver fans to launch into a fit of frustration over the Canucks’ scouting and prospect management. That doesn’t sound fun, so here’s hoping the Canucks can keep them off the scoreboard.
Friday, December 20th
Away vs the Chicago Blackhawks
Following the stopover in Dallas, the Canucks hop on a jet and head north to Chicago for a date with our old friends, the Blackhawks. The last time these two teams met was during Vancouver’s ugly homestand — the one where they kept somehow giving away wins in the third period — and Chicago was one of the teams that benefited from Vancouver’s sudden collapsibility. But the Canucks are playing better now, and a little less like a lawn chair. A chance to show their improvement while exacting a little revenge on the NHL’s best team for embarrassing them last month should be worth your time.
Sunday, December 22nd
At home vs the Winnipeg Jets
Finally, the Canucks return home, and after they meet the Jets at Rogers Arena, they get to actually go home. The club has an entire week off for Christmas following the visit from the Claude Noel-coached Jets. That’s right: the pre-Christmas matchup features a coach named Noel. It’s like a hastily written made-for-TV holiday movie. You imagine the lead character’s name is Jeff Skates, and the woman for whom he pines is named Gloria Lovinterest.
Anyway, the Jets are really bad, but they have Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd, who once broke Ryan Kesler’s nose. If Ryan Kesler showed us anything during his fight with Jarome Iginla versus Boston, it’s that he doesn’t forget who he hates. The way he’s playing these days, there’s a good chance he’ll get into it with Ladd.Tags: The Week Ahead