Canucks honour Linden, welcome Ducks
The Vancouver Canucks hope veteran Trevor Linden can inspire them to extend a modest three-game unbeaten streak -- even if he shows up in street clothes.
The former Canucks captain will be honoured Thursday night at GM Place in a ceremony prior to Vancouver's clash with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
The NHL and the Canucks are honouring Linden for reaching the 1,000-game mark.
It's not clear if Linden will suit up in his No. 16 jersey or his civilian best. The Medicine Hat, Alta. native has been sidelined with a knee injury since Oct. 10.
His participation in tonight's contest will be a game-time decision.
Thursday isn't really Linden's 1,000th game.
He passed the mark March 26 of last season, but decided to put celebrations on hold since the Canucks were in a tight fight for a post-season position.
Linden's team is starting to show the offensive prowess it displayed in last season's second half.
The top line of Brendan Morrison, Markus Nalund and Todd Bertuzzi has combined for 11 goals and 22 points in seven games.
Naslund, who has the second-most shots on goal in the NHL with 34, broke out with a hat trick in Vancouver's 5-2 victory Monday against the San Jose Sharks.
"I knew that a game like this would come eventually," said Naslund. "It kind of takes the edge off of a lot of problems. There is a different atmosphere when you win."
The Canucks' captain potted three goals in a span of 6:41 to break a 14-season old team record for the fastest three goals scored by one player.
Former Canuck Tony Tanti held the old record, scoring three times in 6:46 against Pittsburgh on Jan. 7, 1989.
The Ducks enter Vancouver with their own two-game unbeaten streak and fresh off Sunday's confidence-boosting 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
Anaheim, a team that usually relies heavily on Paul Kariya for the majority of its goal production, has received an offensive injection from some of its young players.
Second-year forward Andy McDonald leads the Ducks with six points. He scored Anaheim's game-winner in overtime to beat Colorado.
Rookie Stanislav Chistov has also chipped in a pair of goals and five points in the young season.
Mix in newcomers Adam Oates and Petr Sykora, and the pressure is off Kariya to provide most of Anaheim's offensive spark.
With tonight's game, the Ducks begin a five-game, eight-day road trip.