Canucks Army GDT #58: Canucks @ Devils

After a thrilling come-from-behind win against the New York Rangers last night, the Canucks are back in the saddle this evening as they face a struggling New Jersey Devils squad that’s scored fewer goals this year than any non-Buffalo NHL team. The Devils are playing some atrocious hockey of late as their possession numbers have cratered since the firing of Peter DeBoer. Still, it won’t be easy for the Canucks as they’re on the second leg of a road back-to-back, and every win is critical to keeping themselves in the playoff race.

Read past the jump for a preview of tonight’s tilt.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 4:00 PM PST

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Zack Kassian sits again, so Brandon McMillan will play his second game. Eddie Lack will get the start in net.

Steve Bernier is still a thing, apparently. Cory Schneider will start in goal.

Head to Head

G58 @ NJD

Storylines

  • Bo Knows Goals – The Canucks first pick in the 2013 NHL entry draft has been on fire of late, riding a five-game point streak in which he’s scored three times and added two assists. He’s also been one of the NHL’s most efficient scorers per minute of 5-on-5 ice time since the All-Star break, as his 3.2 Pts/60 rank him T-13th in the NHL since January 25th, and 3rd on the Canucks behind Zack Kassian (4.0 Pts/60, T-6th) and Ronalds Kenins (3.4 Pts/60, 10th). Horvat is guaranteed to cool off here, but what’s more promising is that his puck possession numbers have also seen a significant jump of late too. These are also likely to regress somewhat, but Horvat is playing some legitimately great hockey right now, not just for a 19-year old, but for any NHL player.
  • Schneider Showdown – The Canucks will face their old one-time heir apparent starter in Cory Schneider tonight, who has been pretty much the only thing that’s kept the Devils out of the McDavid sweepstakes this season. His 0.924 save percentage is T-6th among all regular starting netminders, and he’s also 6th in 5-on-5 save percentage at 0.935. If the Devils are going to claw out a win tonight, Schneider will be a major reason why.
  • Jagr Watch – Even at approximately 200 years old, Jaromir Jagr is amazingly still a high-end NHL forward. His 11 goals and 18 assists in 53 games lead the Devils, but would put him 4th on the Canucks just ahead of Chris Higgins. Jagr is still New Jersey’s best forward, which says as much about the Devils as it does Jagr. Sedin-less Steve Bernier is on their first line, and Scott “I wish it was still 2005” Gomez will be centering their second line tonight. No wonder the Devils are the second lowest scoring team in the NHL.