No more waiting.
Hockey has arrived in Shanghai for the first-ever NHL game to be played in China. The Canucks have sent a veteran-heavy squad to show off their best players, yes, I said it. This is the first chance for Canucks fans with insomnia to see players like Thomas Vanek and Sam Gagner play in a Canucks uniform. Sure, there are other players to watch but Brock Boeser is back in Canada and quite frankly, at 4:30 AM, we probably won’t judge too much.
Do they turn off Twitter at night? I’ve never been on that late/early.
WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF
RADIO: SNET 650
PUCK DROP: 4:30 AM (challenge accepted)
As of the late night, there were no announced lines for either team.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- Assuming you’re up when the puck drops, a fresh take on an old team. The Sedins still have gas left in the tank and all signs point to Sam Gagner potentially starting with them so maybe a bit of chemistry is forming? Loui Eriksson will most likely get some chances up front as well but the winger with the Sedins may just be back in North America.
- The amount of times a Great Wall of China reference is made if either goalie is hot and makes a period’s worth of saves that keeps his team in the game. This could be nauseating and there’s a chance Twitter will have a drinking game for it.
- Brandon Sutter has made the trip so he can do one of two things: play poorly and help himself lose a roster spot to a player like, say, Brock Boeser or the surprisingly better Jake Virtanen. The other thing that can happen is that he actually wins faceoffs, makes crisp passes and doesn’t look beyond awful to the point where #ExposeSutter should have received more airtime.
- Scottie Upshall could make a name for himself on the PK as well as with his grit. He’s a pain in the ass to play against and the Canucks are a pain in the ass to watch so he’s almost a lock to make this team for that reason alone. The Kings always seem to play into this against the Canucks so some could call this a trap game for LA when it comes to Upshall. I also could be reading WAY TOO MUCH into that.
- The Canucks signed 22-year-old goalie Zehao Sun to a PTO in China. Also known to his friends as Taylor, he may just get a chance to play in this two-game set. It’s about growing the game and with Jacob Markstrom and Anders Nilsson locks on the Canucks, would it be the worst to see the Sun rise to the occasion. I’ll wait…
- Also, there is Chinese Twitter, well kinda
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND AND AVOID THE LOGO GOOD LORD WHAT KIND OF A COUNTRY IS THIS?!?! https://t.co/H83FoJ2BBg
— The Royal Half (@theroyalhalf) September 20, 2017
I am still undecided if I will watch this one because I value sleep like the Sedins value the cycle and a good drop pass. What I do see as a reason to watch is the chemistry between Sven Baertschi and Bo Horvat. The possibility of Boeser being added to that line is reason enough to get excited.
Canucks win game one by an official score of 3-2. The real winners may be the ones that wake up 30 minutes after the game ends.