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Photo Credit: David Banks - USA TODAY Sports

CANUCKS ARMY GDT# 72 – CANUCKS @ BLACKHAWKS

The Canucks go back to Chicago to face their arch-nemesis, the Blackhawks. OK, they’re not exactly rivals anymore but it can’t be lost in the mix that a trip to the Madhouse on Madison still means something. Chicago is well on their way to a Cup run again this year and all the Canucks can do tonight is try and play spoiler to remind them anything is possible.

Yes, even without Markus Granlund.

LINE COMBOS

When you come to Canucks Army, we always have the most up-to-date lineups but even sometimes, we have it wrong. You already know Granlund is done for the year, Nikolay Goldobin is still not ready and Jacob Markstrom (food poisoning) ordered the cold cut sub at a certain sandwich artist restaurant. Michael Chaput gets top billing with the Sedins, Reid Boucher slots in with Bo Horvat and versatile Alex Biega looks like he may be back on at forward, yet again.

Ryan Miller will start because Willie Desjardins is a cruel, cruel man.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

No lineup changes expected for Chicago. What is expected, though, is a run at a hat-trick for Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews owning the face-off circle and maybe just one Duncan Keith dirty hit.

Corey Crawford for the win.

Chicago Blackhawks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

GAME NOTES, STATS, AND OTHER INTERESTING INFO

  • Unlike the new Power Rangers movie coming out this Friday, it’s far from Morphin time! for the Vancouver Canucks. There are no signs this team is ready to take a big step forward, some of which are illnesses that have hampered development, keeping college prospects back so they can learn (when are they ever going to use a general studies diploma?), or keeping players on the bench when it’s fairly obvious they would be better learning on the ice instead. As for tonight, Willie has morphed his lines into something none of us recognize and maybe that’s a good thing.
  • When the calendar flipped to 2017 the Canucks hoped for better fortunes,  it didn’t happen. In 33 games this year Vancouver has been shut out four times, scored one goal a total of eight times and won 11 games. 1/3 of their games have been a success in 2017, not something to get excited about. The Blue Jackets were the best team they faced. Ugh.
  • John Tortorella is long gone but the Canucks still seem to be defying his teachings. The Canucks have the 3rd least amount of blocked shots in the NHL this season with 892. If they stepped in front of a few more shots they might let in a few less goals and possibly rack up a win or two extra. At the same time, this isn’t a Cup contender, why sacrifice your body for this tank job?
  • Odd stat: Vancouver has four bench minors this season. That’s actually pretty good! It could mean a bunch of things: they could be well-behaved, they could change lines effectively or they might be so slow that everyone has enough time to count the correct amount of players needed on the ice so they don’t get a penalty. All are potential reasons. So if we can applaud the Canucks for something, let’s applaud them for being responsible.
  • SUPER ODD STAT: Your Vancouver Canucks, despite themselves, are the ONLY team in the league this year to get scored on at 4-on-3. The only team to have a 4-on-3 power play and get scored on. That’s talent.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

MY TAKE

Chicago has won 17 of its past 20 games. The Canucks have 28 wins, period. It’s entirely possible that some random vortex opens up and we get a penalty-filled, slobber knocker that ends 8-7 but I won’t hold my breath.

Canucks steal it in a shootout.

WILL THE CANUCKS GET CHELSEA DAGGER’D?

A few times but the power play will be the Canucks friend on this night. I don’t really believe half of what I’m saying here but sometimes you just get a feeling, it’s not food poisoning, though. I can’t afford to eat where they do.