CANUCKS ARMY PRESEASON GDT#7 – CANUCKS @ OILERS

It’s been a heavy few days of radio, twitter and watercooler chats for the Vancouver Canucks fanbase. Will Jared McCann make the team? Has Jake Virtanen proven himself to be a pro? Will they waive Linden Vey? Is Ben Hutton actually for real?

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Never a dull moment on the left coast. Tonight, our Canucks take on the Edmonton McDavids for the final road preseason game. It’s an early 6 PM start time in BC, so don’t miss out. Safe to say, some big questions should be answered tonight.

BROADCAST INFO

TV: Sportsnet 360

Radio: TSN 1040

Puck Drop: 6 PM

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LINEUPS

Still a ton of questions to be answered and they are all the obvious ones: McCann, Gaunce, Virtanen, Kenins, Vey, and Hutton are all in the balance. Its really going to come down to a solution that we’ll all be super choked about regardless when the hammer drops (not Hamhuis, the figurative type). It’s crunch time, and hopefully your favourites do what they need to do to make the cut.

The Oilers are in a little bit of a different situation: they’re so young they are wondering what old guys to cut. However, D-man Darnell Nurse was the exception to the rule, as he headed back to junior this week. The circus show involving Connor McDavid hasn’t died down yet and thankfully this game is in Edmonton. The Jordan Eberle injury is good news for former Kelowna Rockets star Leon “The Professional” Draisaitl. He is a special, special player. We will all hate him as well soon enough.

Projected Canucks Lines:

Sven Baertschi- Bo Horvat – Jake Virtanen
Alex Burrows – Linden Vey – Jannik Hansen
Ronalds Kenins- Jared McCann – Adam Cracknell
Brandon Prust- Brandon Sutter – Derek Dorsett

Dan Hamhuis- Matt Bartkowski
Alex Biega- Yannick Weber
Ben Hutton- Luca Sbisa

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Projected Oilers Lines:

Taylor Hall – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl
Benoit Pouliot – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Teddy Purcell
Anton Slepyshev – Anton Lander – Nail Yakupov
Matt Hendricks – Mark Letestu – Rob Klinkhammer
Griffin Reinhart – Eric Gryba
Andrej Sekera – Justin Schultz
Andrew Ference – Nikita Nikitin

Jacob Markstrom will start in goal for the Canucks. Cam Talbot will start for the Oilers.

REASONS TO WATCH THIS PRESEASON GAME

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  • I hate to say it, but we only saw a brief glimpse of Connor McDavid and I’m guessing Jake Virtanen wants to apologize along the side boards.
  • Leon Draisaitl can go from slow to WHOA! in a heartbeat. Not a player the Canucks should take lightly. He is a burner. Maybe don’t put Sbisa on him. Let’s let Bartowski have a go.
  • Jared McCann continues to impress anyone with a pulse and it’s pretty hard to see him not making the team. The Higgins foot injury does create some options and quite frankly, there hasn’t been a more deserving player in preseason. Switching to the wing my help his cause as pointed out in this Canucks Army article about said theory.
  • Jake Virtanen, although continually raved about, needs to have a standout game. It’s so close and anything to stand out, other than a big hit (which we love but have seen plenty of) can help his cause. This kid has serious talent, but the spot won’t be handed to him. He has to earn it. One more season of Hitmen hockey may be in the cards, but against the Oilers he may have a game catered to his talents. I would hate to see him go, but he has to do the McCann/Hutton type stuff to make this team.
  • Jannik Hansen started to get the honey badger anger churning against the Sharks last game and it could help him carry his internal chip over to tonight. I feel like if he’s put on a line with Gaunce, he might be able to create some production against a still very young Oilers club. But Gaunce isn’t playing so we’ll have to wait.
  • All the Jake Virtanen murders that might happen…or not… but hopefully will? I wonder if Connor is ready for him this time.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

This might just be the greatest thing that anyone has ever done. 

MY TAKE

The Canucks will end the Oilers’ streak of preseason victories. It won’t be pretty, but they’ll do it. Short and sweet. Canucks 3, McDavids 2