Canucks Army GDT #62 – Canucks vs. Blues

After finishing their eastern road swing with a disappointing loss to the lowly Buffalo Sabres, the Canucks return to the friendly confines of Rogers Arena tonight to face the high-flying St. Louis Blues. It’s the last chance for Jim Benning to evaluate his squad against a legitimately high-caliber opponent for the trade deadline, so the Canucks will be looking for a good effort in the final game before the start of the unofficial stretch drive.

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

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 6:30 PM PST

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Defensive Pairings
Dan Hamhuis 
Dan Hamhuis
Yannick Weber 
Yannick Weber
Luca Sbisa 
Luca Sbisa
Chris Tanev 
Chris Tanev
Ryan Stanton 
Ryan Stanton
Alex Biega 
Alex Biega

Same lineup tonight as the one that lost to Buffalo. Brandon McMillan cleared waivers, but remains with the team. Eddie Lack starts in goal.

Defensive Pairings
Carl Gunnarsson 
Carl Gunnarsson
Alex Pietrangelo 
Alex Pietrangelo
Petteri Lindbohm 
Petteri Lindbohm
Jay Bouwmeester 
Jay Bouwmeester
Barret Jackman 
Barret Jackman
Ian Cole 
Ian Cole

Kevin Shattenkirk is on IR and will not play. Jake Allen gets the start in goal.

Head to Head

G62 v STL

Storylines

  • Bounce Back Lack – The Canucks will turn back to Eddie Lack tonight after the de-facto starter had a tough night against the Buffalo Sabres in his last outing. The NHL’s worst team managed to put an embarassing five pucks past Lack on just 23 shots, including one play in which Lack misplayed the puck terribly, giving the Sabres an open net. Another tough night for Lack will be a disaster for the Canucks, as they face the West’s second most potent offensive team in the St. Louis Blues.
  • Walking Wounded – The Canucks are missing Alex Edler and Chris Tanev, but their impact isn’t being felt where you’d expect. Since both have left the lineup, Vancouver is a bottom-10 puck possession team in the NHL, but their CorsiAgainst/60 is one of the best in the league since mid-February. Instead, they’ve been missing the good first pass that Edler and Tanev provide, as their offensive opportunities have absolutely cratered. The penalty kill has also been obliterated in their absence, as Vancouver is allowing 15 more shots against per 60 minutes of PK TOI than they were with Edler and Tanev in the lineup.
  • Not Singin’ the Blues – St. Louis has been a dangerous squad all season, sporting a +39 goal differential which is tied for the second highest mark in the entire NHL. Their powerplay has been especially dangerous, and the line of Jaden Schwartz-Jori Lehtera-Vlad Tarasenko has been lethal at 5-on-5 too. David Backes has been moved into a primarily defensive role, freeing up the middle of the Blues roster to eat opponents alive. It’ll be a tough test for Vancouver’s hobbled depth group to keep the Blues in check.