Canucks Army GDT #47 – Canucks vs. Sabres

There are no two ways about this, so let’s just get this right out of the way: the Buffalo Sabres are the worst team to be assembled in the past decade and are tanking for Connor McDavid so brazenly that they’re literally already having McDavid play home games in Buffalo’s rink. They played and lost to the Edmonton Oilers last night, and the Canucks have been resting since Tuesday’s 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. This is as close as guaranteed win night as there is in the NHL (except if you’re the San Jose Sharks that is), and the Canucks should be plenty motivated to win one for Ryan Miller anyways.

For a closer look at tonight’s matchup, read past the jump.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Defensive Pairings
Alexander Edler 
Alexander Edler
Luca Sbisa 
Luca Sbisa
Dan Hamhuis 
Dan Hamhuis
Frank Corrado 
Frank Corrado
Chris Tanev 
Chris Tanev
Yannick Weber 
Yannick Weber

Brad Richardson is doubtful with a foot injury. Newly acquired Adam Clendening could play tonight if he arrives in Vancouver on time. Ronalds Kenins may make his Canucks debut in place of Derek Dorsett on line 4. The Edler-Tanev pairing has been split up in practice, meaning Luca Sbisa could play the right side with Edler tonight and no oh god please no. Ryan Miller will get the start against his longtime team.

Defensive Pairings
Josh Gorges 
Josh Gorges
Tyler Myers 
Tyler Myers
Mike Weber 
Mike Weber
Tyson Strachan 
Tyson Strachan
Andrej Meszaros 
Andrej Meszaros
Rasmus Ristolainen 
Rasmus Ristolainen

Nikita Zadorov is eligible to play after serving his team-imposed suspension. Marcus Foligno is out with a hand injury. Tyler Myers is questionable with an ankle injury. Jhonas Enroth will start in goal.

Head to Head

G47 v BUF

Storylines

  • Catching Up with Old Friends – Ryan Miller will face the team he played the majority of his career with for the first time tonight. In his career with Buffalo, Miller had 284 wins, and made 4 playoff appearances, including two extended runs in 05-06 and 06-07. He holds the Sabres career records for games played and wins, and sits second behind Dominik Hasek in career save percentage and shutouts. Miller turned in a strong performance against another former team, the St. Louis Blues, earlier this season, and will look to do the same tonight.
  • New Faces – If all goes according to plan, two players could make their Vancouver Canucks debut tonight: Ronalds Kenins and Adam Clendening. Kenins, 23, is a Latvian international that’s been plying his trade in a bottom-6 role for the Utica Comets this year, and is described as playing an energetic and grinding-type game. Clendening, 22, was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks last night and is an elite AHL puck-mover that needs to work on rounding out his defensive game. It’s fairly certain that Kenins will make his NHL debut with Derek Dorsett out, but whether Clendening plays will be dependent on his arrival from Rockford.
  • Buffalol – The Sabres are bad. Very bad. They are so far and away the worst puck possession group we have on record that it’s insane. They can’t score goals (last in the NHL with 92) and they can’t prevent goals (last in the NHL with 174 against). Their penalty kill sucks and their powerplay is somehow worse. Cody Hodgson, who was expected to develop into a top-6 forward, is a possible buyout candidate. They have lost a staggering 13 games in a row, all in regulation, and haven’t won a hockey game in over a month. There are literally zero redeeming qualities about the team other than the fact that they are frontrunners for Connor McDavid. This Travis Yost chart was two weeks ago, and the Sabres have since broken the minus-1000 Corsi mark, becoming the fastest team to ever do so. They should catch the 2014 Leafs at minus-1092 within the next week or two:

Gameday Reading

  • The Sabres tank job and perpetual Oilers rebuild are why I’d like to see all non-playoff teams have an equal shot (just over 7%) at drafting anywhere from #1 to #14.

    No team would intentionally tank if the chances of McDavid/Eichel were only around 14%.

    And that’s how it should be in a league with a salary cap and floor…

  • Those Sabres stats are… horrific.

    I guess no matter how much the Canucks make me crazy, it could always get worse.

    Except if you were a Sabres fan you could be getting your McDavid jersey printed up and that would fun…

  • We will always have those glorious days of March-November 2014 when the Canucks changed president, coach and general manager. With Linden in his ever-ordained position the management team made astute trades and free agency signings and drafts to remake the club on the fly. And it worked.
    Until the Fall.
    Maybe they can beat the Sabres.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    I know this isn’t the right place, but in light of the Ryan Kesler hit on Dorsett that went unpunished, I would like to see an article about Suspensions.
    I feel that the league does not treat the Canucks fairly when it comes to suspensions. So am I a conspiracy theory nutcase? Or is there something to my beliefs?

    I was thinking that it would be good to have an article that analyzes the way suspensions are handed out.
    An obvious analysis would be to explore how may suspensions have been handed out to each team over the last 10 years?

    A more interesting analysis is to see how many suspensions were handed to opposing teams on a team by team basis. For example, given the Canucks, how many players on opposing teams have received suspensions for an infraction against the Canucks over the last 10 years? What was the Man Hours lost to suspension by the opposing teams. Then move onto another team, such as Anaheim and ask the same question. The purpose of the analysis would be to show a bias (good or bad) against a team.
    I believe other teams get a free pass when it comes to suspension worthy offenses against the Canucks. Where as, the League will hand a suspension out to a Canuck player at any opportunity.
    I think back to how Naslund was laid out by Steve Moore with no suspension, or Mason Raymond almost get his back broken with no suspension, or the two latest head hits to Matthias and Dorsett with no suspension.
    So am I a crazy conspiratorist? Or is there something to the beliefs by Canucks fans that the league is out to get them? Lets see some fancy stat analysis.

    Again, I apologize for posting here, but I couldn’t find anywhere else to post my idea.

  • Orpo

    the Sabres have a few redeeming qualities not mentioned, a) Zemgus Girgensons (good players with funny names are truly special) and B) Matt Moulson (but pretty much only because he has a sick moustache in NHL15)

  • Dirty30

    Since the Sabres suck could we just leave Chris Higgins and a consideration for Matt Moulsen?

    Oh … The consideration … We’re not leaving Sbisa … We’re not that heartless.

  • Fortitude00

    I hope the Sabres get the American Eichel and the Oilers get the Canadian McDavid. Of course I would rather the Canucks get McDavid but if we can’t get him I would like to see him go to a Canadian market.