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Uh, oh...Alberts back in lineup as Canucks prepare for game 5 with Kings

The roller coaster of emotions Canuck fans endured for a 3 hour period on Wednesday night was not for the faint of heart. Well neither is this. Brace yourself heart-achers... Andrew Alberts is back in the lineup for your Canucks.

Nolan Baumgartner is out with anxiety a lower body injury and is unable to play on Friday after playing 9:27 in game 4, many of them while looking extremely nervous. Vancouver has also called up Lawrence Nycholat from the Manitoba Moose, but barring another injury (god forbid); he isn’t expected to play in the series.

Alberts is widely known for his untimely penalties and his slow feet, and his play will be scrutinized closely by almost everyone tonight. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, however, is not one of those people. He says internally, they are confident in his abilities. "I think right now his teammates believe in him, coaches believe in him and I'm confident that the Vancouver fans believe in him. He is what he is. He's a big guy that can play a good defensive game and be physical. We have to make sure that physicality is the right type."

So basically, he says Alberts needs to stay out of the box.

Other lineup changes see Rick Rypien re-inserted into the lineup with Tanner Glass coming out. The Canucks forward lines are expected to look like this:

Sedin, Sedin, Samuelsson

Raymond, Kesler, Burrows

Demitra, Wellwood, Bernier

Grabner, Rypien, Hansen

Re-uniting Samuelsson with the Sedins paid dividends on Wednesday night as the three combined for six 3rd period points en route to a 6-4 comeback win. Burrows and Kesler have had chemistry in the past, and Vancouver is looking to spark something in Burrows who has yet to register a goal in the series. Burrows led the Canucks in the regular season with 35 goals.

On the backend, Kevin Bieksa has to pick up his game. For a guy who won Vancouver hockey fans’ hearts by hitting everything in sight and by being one of the meanest players in the league a few years ago, he is playing way too passively. He had one good offensive season and he now thinks he’s Bobby Orr. He has to start playing with the grit and toughness that once made him successful. An interesting topic came up today on The Province’s live chat about Bieksa:

Today on the Province Live Chat
I think Kuze wrote about it. But Obie was worked up over Kopitar, Bones tried to calm him down and they started going at it. Not a huge deal, but OB is not in the coaching staff's good books. He's even further away than Bieksa, who is on his own planet. And I'm not convinced they play hockey there

by Jason Botchford

I'm afraid no one has the Bieksa answer. Certainly not the coaches. He may be uncoachable.

by Jason Botchford

A couple of scouts I talk to think Bieksa doesn't like to get hit. Never in first for a puck they say. Can't say I've noticed that, but he's not playing anywhere near his capabilities.

by Tony Gallagher

Had an interesting talk with Juice after Ovie pushed Campbell into the boards. Bieksa said that's his worst fear being shoved like that. Maybe getting his (at least since the two skate-slash incidents) is always in the back of his mind.

by Gordon McIntyre

Considering his passive play, this all makes sense. Hey Kevin, maybe look into Ringette if you don’t want to get hit!

Only one lineup change reported for the Kings, as underachieving veteran Justin Williams is back, while Scott Parse will hit the press box.

The game is broadcast on CBC television, and on TEAM1040 radio at 7:00PM.

 

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