CANUCKS ARMY GDT# 54 – CANUCKS @ BLUE JACKETS

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The road less traveled would be a fitting poem to base this Canucks season on; winning on the road has not come easy, let alone at all. Coming into tonight’s game against the juggernaut Blue Jackets, Vancouver has a road record of 6-16-3 and the way they seem to be finishing games, the Canucks may not get to 10 road wins unless they can somehow manage to rework, well, everything.

Last game, John Tortorella scored his 500th win as a coach and the Jackets were on a bit of a streak if I remember correctly. This game is huge for the Canucks and once again, if the playoffs are still on the table then we’re going to have to see some big changes.

LINE COMBOS

Sven Baertschi is out with a concussion so Reid Boucher will come into the lineup. He’ll definitely get more than the 6:04 he played against Nashville in January. Markus Granlund looks like he will get a go with the Sedins.

Jannik Hansen gets to ride shotgun with Bo Horvat and Alex Burrows so that should be a line worth watching and the odds are in their favour that they draw a few penalties. Speed and such.

Ryan Miller has the weight of the world on his shoulders tonight as he gets the start.

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
Nikita Tryamkin 
Nikita Tryamkin
Ben Hutton 
Ben Hutton

Josh Anderson will be a game time decision after getting injured against Detroit on Tuesday. No other big changes to note.

Sergei Bobrovsky should be in the net this evening.

Columbus Blue Jackets lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

GAME NOTES, STATS AND OTHER INTERESTING INFO

  • Standings watch is back on and even though the Canucks are tied for 28th in the league standings, there’s no way they sink to dead last. Seven points will be tough to make up but it’s either Nolan Patrick or go for it – potentially disastrous either way.
  • Looks like Philip Larsen is out of the lineup with Ben Hutton back. Our fearless leader, J.D. Burke, had a great piece on Larsen this week and I do agree that more playing time will help shape what PL can be.
  • Loui Eriksson is struggling and it seems our cries for his presence on the Sedin line were in vain. Eriksson has 0 points in his last 9 games and since the Canucks played Columbus on December 18th, Loui has 4 goals and 3 assists. Big bucks for this guy and he was given the opportunity to make something happen. Is he snake bit? Possibly, but man, you have to show you can make SOMETHING happen out there.
  • Ben Hutton is having a decent season. He was the darling story last year and has slid back a bit from the spotlight. What he has done is put up 4 goals and 8 assists, with 7 of those points coming on the PP. We talk about guys being out of the lineup and what they mean to the Canucks, he’s a big part of this club.
  • Would you believe Sergei Bobrovsky has only played 5 games against the Canucks since October 2013? His record is 2-3 and has given up 19 goals in those games. He’s beatable and tonight might be that night. 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

From waterboy to 4th line NHLer – dreams do come true!

MY TAKE

I can’t fathom the Canucks being the aggressor in this one but with Reid Boucher looking to make an impact and Jannik Hansen playing with Horvat, I suppose anything is possible. Ryan Miller is going to need to be almost perfect, which is possible.

Canucks make magic and win.

WHO WILL HAVE THE BETTER CAREER: NIKOLAI ZHERDEV OR JAYSON MEGNA

I actually had forgotten how good Zherdev was for a time. I can’t see Jayson Megna getting 151 goals. This one settled itself almost immediately, hopefully the game tonight doesn’t end the same way.

  • wojohowitz

    How times have changed. I remember about 4 or 5 years ago when the Canucks won something like 9 road games in a row. Their confidence was sky high. They could beat anybody and they knew it…and now; I`m thinking 0-6. they can`t beat anybody outside of Colorado or Arizona. After this trip the dream is over…reality is a wet cold face cloth…wakey, wakey.

    • Vanoxy

      0-6 would be great, as it would confirm our position as sellers.

      But, knowing this team they will go 1-2-3 and stay in trade purgatory by virtue of loser points.

    • Bud Poile

      Five years ago the Sedins were amongst the best in the league and carried most everyone on their backs – including having the ability to bail out Luongo or Schneider on a bad night.

      This team is nothing like that team,whatsoever.

      Five years was a long time ago.It’s time to wakey,wakey,indeed.

  • JuiceBox

    “Ben Hutton is having a decent season.”

    No he’s not.

    So he has scored 4 goals. Lets put this into context.

    53rd in goals scored, 94th in points in all situations; 52nd in even strength goals and 165th in even strength points.

    Of the 125 defenseman who have played more than 700 minutes (top 4) 5-on-5 he is 125th in GF/60, 123rd in GF%. Only one assist 5-on-5 so far this year.

    Of the 180 defensemen who have played 425 minutes 5-on-5 (top 6) he is 173rd in GF/60, 166th in GF%.

    And the sad part is, he is the Canucks 7th best defenseman, they have two guys worse than him!

  • JuiceBox

    I too am curious to see what Boucher brings to the table. He was a standout in junior and had some success in AHL but hasn’t been able to translate that to anything meaningful in the NHL. I think it’s safe to say he wont be anything close to the goal scorer he was, but that doesn’t mean he can’t carve himself out a place on an NHL roster. This is quite possibly his last kick at the NHL can, hopefully he makes the most of it and the Canucks benefit from it.