CANUCKS ARMY PRESEASON GDT#4 – SHARKS VS. CANUCKS

sharks

The preseason has been a little bit of everything so far for the Canucks. We’ve seen some defensive gems appear and some disappear. Tonight, the blended Sharks come to town to face the Canucks. Looks like some roster spots are still being decided so a good showing at home might make some decisions easier. Doesn’t look like anyone overly important is playing for the Sharks tonight, save Hertl, so if you are looking for the #moralvictory in the preseason, this might be your night. 

BROADCAST INFO

TV: SN360

RADIO: TSN 1040

PUCK DROP: 5PM

LINEUPS

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REASONS TO WATCH THIS PRESEASON TILT

  • Its getting close to crunch time for the Canucks to figure out their opening night roster (which doesn’t mean much for some) but knowing who those first couple of call ups will be makes these last couple of games important.
  • The Brendan Gaunce line might have some substance today as this line had some play last year. Gaunce can be used in multiple roles so it’ll be interesting to see if they keep him at C tonight. 
  • The preseason “BIG LINE” of Bo Horvat/Sven Baertschi/Jake Virtanen is slightly different this evening. Virtanen had a minor scare in the first go round against the Sharks so Anton Rodin slots in. This line could really be something(with Virtanen, not Rodin) if left alone and we saw how Bo and Bae lit it up after Christmas last year. We’re all craving for something to believe in and this would be one of those things. Mcdonalds pizzas would be the other.
  • It’s Ryan Miller/Richard Bachman tonight and how much of each guy we’ll see is up in the air. Bachman hopefully gets a fair look as we’ll probably end up seeing him more than we think; something about injuries here. He’s no Demko but we love him all the same.
  • Lots to love on defense tonight! Chris Tanev and Olli Juolevi pair together and Alex Edler buddies up with 2016 Ben Hutton candidate, Troy Stecher. The forwards won’t be the story this evening but you have to believe the back end will try to shine. 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING (OK US, REALLY)

MY TAKE

Somehow, tonight is about Gaunce. Not sure why, not sure how. I see him being a force and Willie smiles in approval. He’ll have a “really good game”. As for Stecher, I think he steps up once more and all but cements his spot on this team. 

WILL WE WIN?

Its entirely possible

  • Whackanuck

    D Sedin – H Sedin – Eriksson
    .
    Baertschi – Horvat – Hansen
    .
    Burrows – Sutter – Rodin
    .
    Gaunce – Granlund – Dorsett
    .
    Skille/R, Virtanen/R, Rendulic/R, Etem/L, Labate/L, Zalewski/L
    .
    .

    Edler – Tanev
    .
    Hutton – Gudbranson
    .
    Tryamkin – Larssen
    .
    Sbisa/L, Pedan/L, Biega/R, Stecher/R

    • Whackanuck

      I think Burrows may still be on his way out. If not I think Hansen will be traded. The Canucks need to make room and trading for prospects or draft picks are important.

  • Whackanuck

    D Sedin – H Sedin – Eriksson

    Baertschi – Horvat – Hansen

    Burrows – Sutter – Rodin

    Gaunce – Granlund – Dorsett

    Skille/R, Virtanen/R, Rendulic/R, Etem/L, Labate/L, Zalewski/L

    Edler – Tanev

    Hutton – Gudbranson

    Tryamkin – Larssen

    Sbisa/L, Pedan/L, Biega/R, Stecher/R

  • wojohowitz

    I think it’s a bit premature to give Stecher a spot.
    Although I realize he’s a sentimental favourite among media, I don’t think he’s anywhere close to a lock.
    Don’t count out Larsen, statistically he wasn’t impressive, but I caught twice where the Flames flew the zone where he was on the weak side and recognized the play dropped back and took away any option of long break out for the flames. As a casual fan if I saw that, you have to assume the coaches did too, and that goes a long way in any coaches eyes.
    There is also the question of waivers
    The Canucks likely will keep 8 guys
    Edler, Tanev, Hutton, Gudbranson, Sbisa have 5 of those spots (I like most don’t understand the teams love affair with Sbisa, but another story for another time).
    That leaves 1 starter and 2 spots.
    Larsen, Tryamkin, Pedan, Stetcher, Biega fighting for them.
    Tryamkin has an out clause to KHL so not likely he gets sent down, and Pedan and Biega would have to clear waivers, although consensus is Biega would clear, Pedan would not, so not likely Pedan gets sent down.
    That leaves one spot for Larsen and Stetcher.
    I think Stetcher would have to have a few more games like his last one, and the fact he isn’t being played every game (aka Hutton last year) says to me the team isn’t quite sold yet..

  • wojohowitz

    Larsen makes the roster to justify the 5th round pick. Waiver-exempt Stecher goes to Utica to put the nail in the coffin containing Subban’s NHL-hopes.

    • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

      A fifth round investment is not enough to make him a lock on anything. I am actually watching to see who gets traded more that who gets sent down. I think Larson may be that guy.

  • Whackanuck

    It’s hard not to be sold on Stetcher however,with the depth that has been built it is likely we see him in Utica until the Pedan / Larsen situation resolves itself.

  • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

    I don’t get the Stecher hype machine. He looks promising but we’re in preseason. It’s nice to have a prospect shine but let’s take it all in with a grain of salt. I hope this guy gets seasoned in Utica and gets the call up later this year or starts in Vancouver next year.

    Subban struggled playing defence. He might become an NHLer but he needs more time in Utica.

    Benning can look at moving a D man or two. We have lots of depth so we can move a Sbisa and maybe even an Edler for a better return.

    • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

      I agree. We are still preseason but Stetcher still looks ready. As for trading Luca, do not hold your breath. His salary puts him out of the trade market. Edler is a better option to trade, but I doubt that as well. More likely to trade Pedan or Laarson.

      • Whackanuck

        Pedan and Larsen are near useless as trade pieces until they can be developed into assets.

        The sane goes for Biega so let Larsen and Pedan show their stuff before jettisoning them for nothing.

  • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

    I love what Stecher has done, but why risk losing Pedan when you could just easily send Stecher down where he will get more playing time. And between Larsen and Stecher, give it to Larsen. Spent more time at the higher levels, could be a solid offensive force. Again, you can’t hurt Stecher (fresh outta college) by not rushing him in the league. Let’s just enjoy what he’s done and look forward to his future.

    • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

      Pedantic is very tradable as is Laarson Biaga will hold down where he will be first call up and Subban likely second. Not saying Stetcher makes the big club but he has a real shot.

  • wojohowitz

    Maybe it`s just me thinking old time hockey but when Kelly cheap shots Tanev Pedan gets brownie points for going after him. Canucks need guys like that who can step up when needed.

  • wojohowitz

    I`m seeing a problem with the rules. Rodin takes a head shot but he better get up right away whether he wants to or not because staying down for any length of time means concussion symptoms and he gets pulled by off ice officials. No matter how hard they are hit the players will try to get up and that`s bad.

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    I really don’t understand all the love for Subban. If he was called Fred Smith, nobody would be all over the bandwagon of a small defenseman who hasn’t learned to defend yet. He may be capable one day but is far from it now. No NHL coach will play a defenseman who isn’t at least reasonably competent in his own end.

  • wojohowitz

    I do not know why we would want to entertain trading depth not all defense men can make the team as with any other year can expect injuries and need to have depth to fill in the spots.

    Plus those who are considered depth players would not have value on the trade market.

    As has been said many times this is only preseason, exciting seeing some good young prospects but soon will see the veterans such as Sutter and the twins with Ericson that is when things will really get exciting

  • Whackanuck

    Benning and Linden have said repeatedly that the best guys will make the team and they have kept their word.

    However, at some point, you can’t just lose players for nothing. What the Canucks desperately need is a right point man for the power play. That’s Stecher or Larsen. I’ve heard about and seen Stechers offensive flair but really little of his defensive maturity. In my opinion, that’s where the team will make its decision.