VANCOUVER — The Canucks are hoping to do more than rely on home-ice advantage to solve the Bruins’ forecheck tonight in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
After witnessing the circus act that was defenseman Keith Ballard’s first appearance in the Final (he replaced the suspended Aaron Rome) in Game 4 Wednesday, Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault might be ready to swap Ballard out of the lineup for rookie Chris Tanev.
Tanev came off the Rogers Arena ice along with many of the usual game players, while Ballard stayed out longer for a hard skate. Vigneault would not confirm any lineup changes but he was willing to talk about what Tanev could bring to his team if he plays.
“When we’ve used Chris this year, he’s real steady, can make a first pass at the forecheck,” said the coach. “He’s a kid that is playing in Manitoba [of the AHL], and we got in injury trouble and he came up and did a real solid job for us.”
Tanev could be paired with Andrew Alberts, who earlier this series replaced the injured Dan Hamhuis. Vigneault said Hamhuis remains day-to-day and will be with the team on its trip to Boston for Monday’s Game 6.