The Vancouver Canucks open the 2013-14 NHL season on Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center.
They held their final practice prior to tomorrow’s opener at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. It gave fans a good indication what the lines will look like.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin skated with Alexandre Burrows on the first line. Ryan Kesler was in between Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen on the second line. Brad Richardson was on left wing on the third line with Mike Santorelli in the middle and David Booth on right wing. Waiver claim Zac Dalpe centred Tom Sestito and Dale Weise on the fourth line.
On defence, it was Dan Hamhuis with Kevin Bieksa and Alexander Edler on the left side with Jason Garrison on the right in the top-four. Ryan Stanton, who was claimed off waivers on Monday, was paired with Chris Tanev. Andrew Alberts and Yannick Weber were the other pair.
Based on these lines, it appears Alberts and Weber will sit to allow Stanton to make his Canucks debut. It will allow the Canucks to get a look at what Stanton is all about. By no means has he passed Alberts and Weber on the depth chart.
Interestingly, the Sharks called up enforcer Matt Pelech from the minors today and is expected to play against the Canucks on the fourth line. He had a scrap with Sestito last Tuesday and had one with Alberts a week before that. Pelech’s also the nephew of Canucks general manager Mike Gillis
Sedin – Sedin – Burrows
Higgins – Kesler – Hansen
Richardson – Santorelli – Booth
Sestito – Dalpe – Weise
Hamhuis – Bieksa
Edler – Garrison
Stanton – Tanev