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CANUCKSARMY GDT 20 – CANUCKS VS. BLUES

It’s been a season of ups and downs so far for the Vancouver Canucks. Tonight they’ll look to rebound from an ugly loss on Thursday against the Golden Knights when they face the visiting St. Louis Blues on Hockey Night in Canada. The Canucks and Blues used to have a decent rivalry but now resort to meeting a few times a season.

The Blues are coming off a convincing win against the Oilers on Thursday, so it’s up to the Canucks to break serve and remind the Blues why they used to hate coming to Vancouver.

It’s the ninth-place Canucks and the first place Blues at Rogers Arena.

Let’s do this!

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: CBC (HNIC)

RADIO: SN650

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINE COMBINATIONS

Chris Tanev may slot back into the lineup tonight (please, please be true) while Troy Stecher has been skating and could return to the lineup soon. Jake Virtanen was taking line rushes with the Sedins after sitting for three games in the press box. Alex Burmistrov and Brendan Gaunce were the extras and would be the safe bet to be healthy scratched.

Jacob Markstrom deserves another shot to be in tonight.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

No significant changes for the Blues. When you’re the top team you don’t need to change anything.

Jake Allen will be the starter.

St. Louis Blues lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • Chris Tanev may indeed play tonight and his presence is needed. If Tanev plays then Alex Biega sits and secures the back end just enough to let the forwards take charge a bit more. This team can’t afford injuries on defense… or anywhere really. Troy Stecher is close and could actually give the Canucks the proper boost they need to start winning some games consistently again.
  • The Canucks have the lowest Corsi Against events this season by one! It doesn’t really feel like it some nights but they’re keeping that puck away from their own end. They’re also the leaders in CA/60. If they can figure out a way to stop allowing the first goal on the first few shots they really could make something of this thing.
  • Brayden Schenn (the better Schenn) is having himself a November to remember. Schenn has four goals and ten points in his last five games and the Canucks might just be a team he continues this trend. However, the Canucks are streak busters so seeing Schenn go pointless isn’t out of the question.
  • There are two Blues brothers that are tearing up the NHL right now, the aforementioned Schenn and Jaden Schwartz. Both of these guys have 25 points thus far whereas the Canucks have four players on their team that are above the 10 point mark. Two different teams for sure, but the Lightning of the West is in town so Travis Green will be deploying a healthy amount of Derek Dorsett and Brandon Sutter.
  • The shootout. Vancouver has been in the shootout only once this season and that was a loss against the Senators. It’s great the Canucks haven’t needed to get that far to try and earn a point but considering they aren’t allowing a ton of total shots via 5v5 and aren’t producing very many, it’s a wonder they haven’t needed it more. Look out, it may be near.

THE TWITTER TAKE

Jason Botchford and Jeff Paterson touched on this during the Patcast. Are we under-hyping Brock Boeser?

I think we ARE.

MY 94 CENTS

Could it get much worse? The Canucks played down to their opponent last game and were embarrassed. Tonight, in typical fashion, they’ll most likely play up to their competition and have a game for the ages. Just one of those things that always seem to happen. Jake Virtanen is back in and this is a team that he should be able to shine against. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a two-goal game. Win or lose, nothing has really surprised me this season.

The Canucks have been as bad as we’ve expected at times but surprisingly great when we haven’t expected anything. Canucks win but I don’t know how.

OVER / UNDER

Jake Virtanen 2nd Star (+/- 1)     This is a game Jake needs to come back to life, go with the under. He still makes the list.

Thomas Vanek Breakaway clapper (+/- 0)     Take the over… in overtime.

GAME DAY ARTICLE BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE PINT

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  • Tonight is game # 20. That’s one quarter of this new season done.

    Canucks win, 10 – 8 – 2. That’s not bad. The playoff dream is alive and once you get there, anything can happen.

    Canucks lose, 9 – 9 – 2. That’s not so good. Playing .500 hockey is no man’s land.

    A win tonight would be a big step in the right direction.
    Go Nucks Go!

    • Killer Marmot

      To put it another way, an overtime loss is not a tie, and should not be interpreted as one. By your system of counting, the league as a whole would have far more wins than losses, a reductio ad absurdum.

      • Dirty30

        Isn’t that the problem with the Bettman points? A regular win, tie or loss would be 2, 1, and 0 points, but the NHL is going, 2 and 1 for ties because they have to be won. So instead of giving out 2 points for any scenario (2 for a win, 1 each for a tie) they are giving out potentially 3 points which kind of means there are more ‘wins’ then there would be under the old system. Which seems a bit absurd.

        • Killer Marmot

          The biggest problem with it is that it encourages defensive play.

          It’s to a team’s advantage to be in a lot of overtime games, even if they lose most of them. And the best way to be in an overtime game is to keep the score low.

          • The three point system is definitely the most sensible solution, but the NHL doesn’t want this because they want to create artificial parity – the current system keeps the standings closer than it would be if it were changed to a 3-2-1 system or to not rewarding a point for OT losses, so teams won’t be eliminated from the playoffs until the very end of the season (unless they’re truly awful) and fans will stay engaged.

    • The Canucks have better underlying numbers and are a better team on paper.
      But yes, it’s weird to say they played down to the level of a team that’s well ahead of them in the standings.