The Vancouver Canucks embark on their first road trip of the season, and it looks like it will be jam-packed with interesting stories by the time it’s all said and done.

Tonight, the Canucks take on the host Ottawa Senators minus a few “key” — that term could be interpreted very loosely — players. Loui Eriksson is out indefinitely with an ankle injury, and Alex Edler is recovering from a sprained MCL. On the flip side, the “best player in the world” Erik Karlsson is back for the Senators and will probably give the Canucks fits.

Unlike NHL 18, the Canucks can’t sim this one so play they must.

Let’s do this!






BREAKING NEWS: Michael Chaput has been called up. OK, this was breaking yesterday, but that overwhelming feeling is still there. Depending on Brandon Sutter’s status, Chaput most likely won’t draw in. Brock Boeser stays in because, well, you can’t sit him anymore. Jake Virtanen will probably slot in for Eriksson, and Derrick Pouliot will be a mainstay for the foreseeable future.

The shocking news was taking Bo Horvat off ALL the power play units — you know because that’s a good idea. After Sunday night, the Canucks had the most power play opportunities in the league so getting rid of one of the only guys that creates chances doesn’t seem smart. This isn’t even armchair-coaching, this is just what you shouldn’t do.

Jacob Markstrom has started every game this season, and this one will be no different. Anders Nilsson will probably get a game during the back-to-backs this week.


Jim Vandermeer will not be playing. Jayson Megna would get a start before he would.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:


At long last, Karlsson is back for the Senators, and he’ll pick up where he left off from last season. Karlsson had more assists last year than either Henrik Sedin or Bo Horvat had points. So A) he’s outstanding and B) the Canucks are not. Alex Burrows got the win last week and was a horse for 60 minutes; I’d expect more of the same. There are some sneaky spots on this Senators roster, and at any given moment a handful of them could take over this game.

With Karlsson back, players like Dion Phaneuf can play a more specialized game using the body and force turnovers which are pretty easy against the Canucks. This one could be rough.

Craig Anderson is the likely starter. He’s pretty good if you haven’t noticed.

Ottawa Senators lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:


  • Even though the Canucks have only played four games so far, Chris Tanev is already in some elite company. Maybe not for long, but still. Among defensemen playing at least 50 minutes this season, Tanev ranks 11th in P/60 at 5v5 with 2.1. Will this trend continue well into the season? Unlikely, but I suppose an outlier year is possible?
  • Burrows was on the ice a lot last game, and he was kept in check for the most part. Keep an eye on him tonight because he could benefit from a wishy-washy Canucks power play. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.
  • Despite their sombre start, the Canucks are one of the best teams in the league at starting with the puck. Vancouver sits fourth with a 55.7 FOW%. They’ve also played three fewer games than a lot of teams, but that doesn’t really matter.
  • The one area everyone has overlooked this season is the outlet pass. The focus has been put on Michael Del Zotto, Ben Hutton, Troy Stecher and even Alex Edler. That second assist would come from a great breakout pass and wouldn’t you know it Jacob Markstrom has one of those shiny assists. He’s one of only three goalies in the league to register a point so even though Edler is out for awhile, Markstrom’s got this.
  • He’s only played in two games, but Boeser (yes, him again) has a point in each. This will continue, and if Alex Burmistrov is hanging around, he’ll benefit from a point or two as well this evening.



Look, taking Horvat off the power play is probably ill-advised. I don’t see that lasting very long unless Markus Granlund is 100% with the Twins and they just roll with that unit — probably not going to happen. Burmistrov isn’t the answer either so flipping Horvat in after the second power play of the game seems like a strong possibility.

The theme this year will be Boeser and give him every freaking opportunity to succeed.

With all the hype elsewhere, this is the time that Virtanen could step up and make his mark. I got the Eriksson thing right and then BAM! He’s out, go figure. Virtanen has a great opportunity, and with Eriksson out, he needs to make the most of it.

Canucks lose though.


Erik Karlsson goals (+/- 2)          Push, he gets two because he’ll be on the ice enough that those chances will come.

Brock Boeser PP goals (+/- 1)    Again, push. If I’m wrong on this one, I want to be really wrong. That shot is the future of the Canucks.