Vancouver Canucks

Goalie nods: After replacing Lundqvist last game, Talbot gets big test vs. B’s


All the latest from the crease…

Talbot starts in Boston

Bit of a curious one from the Rangers as they’ll start Cam Talbot ahead of Henrik Lundqvist tonight against the Bruins at TD Garden.

Talbot, who replaced Lundqvist during Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to the Islanders, has been very good of late, stopping 58 of his last 61 shots faced for a .951 save percentage. That said, it will be odd to see him ahead of Lundqvist in a big game; Boston is streaking lately, with just one regulation loss in its last 11 games

Some reactions:

For the Bruins, Tuukka Rask is the likely starter in goal.


Wild at Sabres: Devan Dubnyk vs. Jhonas Enroth (read more here)

Canucks at Flyers: Ryan Miller for Vancouver, Ray Emery likely for Philly.

Avs at Panthers: Semyon Varlamov vs. Roberto Luongo

Oilers at Bolts: Ben Scrivens vs. Ben Bishop

Habs at Sens: Craig Anderson for Ottawa, no word yet on a Montreal starter.

Wings at Blues: Petr Mrazek vs. Brian Elliott

Jets at Stars: Ondrej Pavelec likely for Winnipeg, Anders Lindback likely for Dallas (read more here)

Flames at Coyotes: Joni Ortio vs. Mike Smith

Leafs at Sharks: Antti Niemi likely for San Jose, no word yet on a Toronto starter.

After lengthy absence, Hamhuis back for Canucks tomorrow

Vancouver will get back a key piece of its defensive core on Friday in Carolina.

Dan Hamhuis, who’s missed the last 21 games with a groin tear, will draw back into the lineup tomorrow when the Canucks take on the ‘Canes at PNC. (Note: Technically, Hamhuis will miss a 22nd game tonight, as he won’t dress for Vancouver’s game in Philadelphia.)

Hamhuis has been out of the lineup since getting hurt after just 19 seconds of ice time in a Nov. 20 game against Anaheim.

Originally feared to be a longer-term ailment, Hamhuis was able to avoid surgery for the torn groin and went the rehab route, getting back onto the ice earlier than his original eight-week timetable for return.

Hamhuis, 32, had six points through his first 20 games of the season, averaging 20:36 TOI.

Video: Preds’ Rinne leaves game vs. Canucks (Updated)


Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne left tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks early in the third period after Chris Higgins ran into him.

Rinne, who allowed one goal on 21 shots was replaced by Carter Hutton.

Rinne entered tonight’s game with a 28-6-2 record to go along with a 1.98 G.A.A. and a .930 save percentage.


Lack gets second straight start over Miller, but not because there’s another Canucks goalie controversy

Eddie Lack is getting the start over Ryan Miller tonight in Nashville, and “quite a few things” went into making the decision, according to Canucks coach Willie Desjardins.

One thing is that Miller has been sick. On Saturday versus Calgary, he gave up the start to Lack, explaining Monday, “I thought Eddie gave the team a better chance energy-wise.”

Perhaps Miller still feels that way.

“I know that for him not to play in [tonight], he’s not feeling very good,” said Lack.

But another “thing” may be that Lack played very well against the Flames, stopping all but one of the 23 shots he faced in a 1-0 loss. In his last three starts, Lack has allowed just four goals on 74 shots, for a save percentage of .946.

“Sometimes you go off the last game,” Desjardins said, per The Province. “You go off different things. I don’t think it’s something we had written in.”

So Desjardins, in addition to being mindful of Miller’s health, may also be riding the hot hand against the Preds.

Now, it’s at this point where we must mention that Miller has not by any means been playing poorly. In his last seven starts, he’s compiled a save percentage of .943. Goaltending has not been the problem for the Canucks in recent weeks; it’s been scoring.

But Vancouver being Vancouver, a market where goaltending controversies are a way of life — not to mention, there were many who went into the season believing the younger Lack was the superior netminder — the decision to go with the backup for a second straight game has caused a stir.

And you can bet there will be even more of a stir if Lack plays well again.


Goalie nods: All-Czech matchup for Hasek night in Buffalo

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Czech affair

A fitting goaltending duel in Buffalo tonight as the Sabres retire Dominik Hasek’s No. 39: Michal Neuvirth will go up against Petr Mrazek as two of the NHL’s three active Czech goalies battle it out.

Mrazek, back with the Red Wings after injuries to Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson, has posted a 5-3-1 record with a 2.29 GAA and .916 save percentage this year. He did allow two goals on just 12 shots in relief of Howard on Saturday against Washington, though.

Neuvirth, meanwhile, will look to build on one of the finest performances of his career. He was brilliant in Friday’s 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay, making 45 saves on 47 shots for a .957 save percentage. While the 26-year-old’s numbers on the year aren’t great — 3-11-1, .909 save percentage, 3.36 GAA — Neuvirth has had a couple good outings lately, which included stops on 31 of 33 shots in a loss to Florida on Jan. 2.


Bolts at Bruins: Tuukka Rask likely for Boston, no word yet on a Tampa Bay starter.

Isles at Rangers: Jaroslav Halak vs. Henrik Lundqvist

Wild at Pens: Niklas Backstrom vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Avs at ‘Canes: Calvin Pickard vs. Anton Khudobin

Panthers at Jets: Roberto Luongo vs. Michael Hutchinson

Canucks vs. Preds: Eddie Lack for Vancouver, Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville.

Oilers at Blues: Ben Scrivens vs. Jake Allen

Sens at Stars: Robin Lehner for Ottawa, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.

Sharks at Coyotes: Devan Dubnyk for Arizona, Antti Niemi likely for San Jose.