CANUCKS ARMY GDT# 37 – CANUCKS VS. DUCKS

Ducks

The Canucks welcome play the Ducks this evening in Anaheim’s second game of a back to back. Can Vancouver take the double dip and go into their New Year’s Eve game on a hot streak? Loui Eriksson is back on the board, Ryan Miller just played an all-world game and Alex Edler just got another batch of sticks so this one is about to be lit as the kids say.

We might even get a 13 round shootout! 

BROADCAST INFO

TV: SNET-P

RADIO: TSN 1040

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINE COMBOS

With Jayson Megna now on the top line, the Ducks will have to watch out for the new high-powered offence. If Loui Eriksson can somehow score a few more times (hat trick even?) you have to believe Willie Desjardins will reward him with that Megna spot. The other option is he can cash in his Air Miles, Petro-Points and a month’s worth of tickets from Castle Fun Park for a game up front.

Markus Granlund has shown well on the second line and looks like he belongs (look for positives, look for positives).

Ryan Miller will start because Willie believes in him. He was pretty darn good against the Kings so it’s not like he doesn’t deserve it. Expect to see Jacob Markstrom tomorrow night then. (Reverse these if I’m wrong).

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

Defensive Pairings
Alexander Edler 
Alexander Edler
Troy Stecher 
Troy Stecher
Luca Sbisa 
Luca Sbisa
Chris Tanev 
Chris Tanev
Ben Hutton 
Ben Hutton
Nikita Tryamkin 
Nikita Tryamkin

Look here, Ryan Kesler is a #1 center (that wasn’t a hashtag you millennials!) He’s back to his pesky self and has a goal scoring Jakob Silfverberg (which he may occasionally pass to) to help him out. Shocking that they have split up Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry but I guess things aren’t what they used to be. Richard Rakell is having himself a season so the Canucks will need to watch out.

Jonathan Bernier should start as John Gibson was a beast last night in a 3-1 win against the Flames.

Anaheim Ducks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

GAME NOTES, STATS AND OTHER INTERESTING INFO

  • The Canucks have not beat the Ducks this year but the last time Anaheim was in town Henrik Sedin and Loui Eriksson hooked up for a goal. There is hope. 
  • Vancouver’s defense has been an issue this year but right now, the current six guys in the lineup are pretty much the best looking group the team has seen to date. A few wins and some key stops could boost the confidence of this group and might allow the forward group to take a few more chances and then they score more goals and then they win more… sorry, got off on a tangent there. Defense has looked alright, all things considered.
  • Speaking of the back end, Nikita Tryamkin is starting to warm up to this team and in turn his game has improved. Communication is so important and as the games continue he’ll figure out ways to put his mark on the game. Tryamkin is kind of a wild card because he really could turn out to be something special. For now, he just needs to keep the puck out of the net and I dunno, pummel Kesler or Perry.
  • I’m on an Eriksson push right now as you have probably noticed and today folks, is the PP1. The Sedins obviously lead the points here with 7 apiece and Brandon Sutter is hanging around as well mainly because of Willie’s inability to try someone else. However, Eriksson is RIGHT THERE and should be a mainstay and overload it with Bo Horvat. Two faceoff specialists with two goal scoring wingers and Troy Stecher, tell me I’m wrong. Loui is a goal back of the team lead of 4, which Daniel currently owns.
  • Stat of the day – the Canucks have the 4th best CF60 of 50.06 at 5v5. They are directing a tonne of pucks to the net and hear me out if they can somehow get a bigger body in front and direct some traffic ala, Todd Bertuzzi, I’m guessing they score a few more goals. Makes sense. 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

I just, I don’t even… I just can’t. Don’t hold your breath Ducks fans.

MY TAKE

Is it crazy to think the Canucks can pull off the mini California sweep IN Vancouver? They played a pretty effective game against the Kings on Tuesday and with an All-star performance from Ryan Miller, there was renewed belief that the Canucks might not be that bad.

They still ARE that bad but I believe they can beat the Ducks but they’ll have to be physical.

HOW WOULD JOHN TORTORELLA COACH THE CANUCKS TO A WIN TONIGHT?

Torts would definitely play Markstrom for starters. When it comes to the forward lines, the Sedins would already be on the second line and Bo Horvat would get Loui Eriksson and Sven Baertschi and that would be dealt with. Brandon Sutter would be nowhere to be found on the power play and honestly, this would just make me so happy. 

Sadly, he’s coaching the Blue Jackets and going for 15 wins in a row.

  • Miller should start tomorrow against Edmonton, Markstrom should play tonight. Miller plays better with longer breaks between games. How much more proof of this do we need. There is also the matter of Markstrom taking over. Games should be split 50/50, unless Willie is going with the hot hand, you win you play.

    Alex Edler breaking sticks is concerning and has been so for some time. How is this allowed to go on?

    Anyways, it’s game day, I got my game face on. Lets make it two in a row!

    • Miller plays better with 364 days between games.

      I do enjoy your enthusiasm though, Go Canucks!

      Was hoping to see Rodin back in the lineup, but if we are winning I guess we won’t see any changes. (wtf is up with this thing)

    • I agree on Markstrom starting tonight. His record would be much better if he didn’t always get th second game of double headers when the team plays poorly. Give the guy a chance. Miller has been playing some good hockey at times but has shown he breaks down, both in play and injury, when he plays too often.

      • Markstrom is ten years younger than Miller and as a very young man should be doing everything he can to show he is a #1 NHL tender.

        This golden opportunity (and multi-millions of USD’s )
        he has been given has not translated into the consistency or reliability of an NHL starting goaltender.

        With Miller aging I would much rather bring in Demko next season and hopefully have Miller rejuvenated for a season or two with guiding the heir apparent.

        This team has to have consistently superb tending to compete.

  • I would like to see the expected scratches for each team as well, it helps keep track of who is on the IR and who is up with the team from the minors.

    As for the Ducks, I hope Tryamkin obliterates Kesler. While I always liked Bieksa, for anybody who questions Sbisa’s 3.6 million cap hit (including me, I have always defended his potential but we overpaid) check out Bieksa’s 4 million hit.

    What was Anaheim thinking? Benning dumped him to them for a 2nd round pick to get rid of a 4.6 million contract, and they re-sign him at 4 million to play on their 3rd pair? He’s declining and he’s 35, dumb move. Sbisa is 9 years younger and improving, he might be worth his contract at some point. Bieksa never will be.

    I’m not holding out much hope for a win tonight, and I wish they’d play Markstrom every other game or, God forbid, just play the hot goalie all the time. Markstrom looks great? Come right back with him. Miller has an off game? Start Markstrom right away. Miller rattles off 5 great games in a row while Markstrom sits? I’m OK with that, but let’s at least aim for more starts than last year for Markstrom.

    I’m puzzled by Willie’s player management at all positions, really. Everyone who wants to blame all levels above Willie for the state of the team, fine, but I can’t defend his crazy, and I mean crazy, lineup AND deployment decisions. They are too many to list, and span 2 seasons, but an AHL player on your top line is a great example. It’s not like he’d grabbed a spot on this team with a healthy lineup (see Stecher for how this is done) but he’s top 6 material……over the entire roster……sure…..

    Anyhow, IMO we need a couple of things to happen tonight if we hope to win. Goaltending has to be hot, and it’s on the Horvat line to make things happen. If they’re on fire, Willie will give them more ice time and limit the twins, who get killed by Anaheim when trapped in our end. Anything short of this and we lose, as the D is very promising but doesn’t bring much offense and we’re going to need to find a few goals tonight. Don’t expect to get away with another 2-1 game.