Nov 7, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Vancouver Canucks centerRyan Kesler
(17) controls the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The next stop on the Blackhawks “circus trip” is the Rogers Arena home to the Vancouver Canucks. The Blackhawks enter Rogers Arena after a much needed win against the Winnipeg Jets. Meanwhile the Canucks come off win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Canucks on the season are 12-8-4 which is good enough for fifth place in the ultra tough Pacific Division. This marks the first time that the Blackhawks will face the John Torterlla coached team. Now everyone knows to watch for Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Roberto Luongo.
Here are three players that are not the Sedins or Bobby Lou:
1. Ryan Kesler: Kelser comes into his tenth season with the Vancouver Canucks. He is third on the team in scoring with 9 goals and 7 assists in 24 games. Kesler has already played more regular season games this season than he did last season. Last season Kesler suffered a fractured foot that sidelined him for all but 17 games. Kesler is an excellent two way center who has the ability to play wing. The Blackhawks need to make sure they watch out for him on the power-play. He usually parks himself right in front of the net.
2.Mike Santorelli: Santorelli enters his first season with Canucks. This season Santorelli has already surpassed his second best season in points. His second best was 9 goals and 2 assists in 60 games with Florida. This season Santorelli has 5 goals and 9 assists already in only 24 games. Santorelli for his career has been a fourth line player and spent a lot of time in the minors. This season with Canucks has been an awakening for him. The Blackhawks should be mindfully of this center.
3. Kevin Bieksa: Bieksa is a defenseman Blackhawks fans love to hate. He was been with Canucks since 2005-06. Bieksa comes into this season with 1 goal and 10 assists on the season. The Blackhawks know Bieksa loves to initiate contact. He does log big minutes for the Canucks and has a heavy shot from the point. One very big knock on Bieksa is that he takes DUMB penalties. I expect him to take dumb penalties tonight.
Honorable mention: Chris Higgins: Higgins is a left winger that has bounced around some in his NHL career. He has spent the last four seasons with Canucks. The scouting report on Higgins is that he an inconsistent two way player that has tremendous speed. He is able to play any forward position. Those are the Canucks to watch.
The Blackhawks play the Canucks in Vancouver Saturday at 9:00pm central time on WGN.
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