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CANUCKSARMY GDT 22 – CANUCKS @ PENGUINS

The Canucks travel west to take on the pesky Penguins in a rematch of a game that didn’t exactly go the Pittsburgh’s way and absolutely favoured the Canucks.

Vancouver’s Brock Boeser is making a mockery of the Canucks record book and finds himself in some exclusive company in the rookie scoring race. It could be all-Boeser from this point forward, and that’s ok.

It hasn’t been exciting to be a Canucks fan in a few years, and it looks like the tide is about to change. Sidney Crosby and company get another chance to foil the Canucks but the defensive game Travis Green is preaching is tough to crack.

Let’s do this!

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: SNET-P

RADIO: SN650

PUCK DROP: 4:00 PM

LINE COMBINATIONS

Derek Dorsett (neck) was sent back to Vancouver, and Brendan Gaunce made his way back into the lineup. Chris Tanev probably won’t play until the weekend, so Alex Biega stays in the lineup. Jake Virtanen had a great game against Philadelphia, so he’ll be given more opportunity, and Loui Eriksson might even see some more ice time after potting his first of the season.

Jacob Markstrom was lights out last night, but Anders Nilsson is fresh so he should start.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

The Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin (upper-body) tonight and are hopeful Carter Rowney (broken hand) will be healthy to play. There are a handful of players from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton that could also be recalled, Michael Scott is not one of them. Josh Archibald will slot back in on the fourth line.

Matt Murray will be the goaltender of record.

Pittsburgh Penguins lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • The above goal is what most teams need to watch for going forward. Brock Boeser is one point back of the rookie lead, and the way he’s been playing it won’t be long before he’s the front-runner. Clayton Keller’s Coyotes won’t be able to keep pace, and Boeser continues to be placed in positions to succeed.
  • It’s been covered here many times this season, but the Canucks are playing a unique (to them) style of hockey that is producing wins, building excitement albeit not tons and keeps the puck away from the Vancouver zone. Tonight’s test against the Penguins will show if this is all sustainable. Will they keep the Sidney Crosby line off the scoresheet?
  • Looking at the top line, Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, and Sven Baertschi are all at 10 points 5v5. Derek Dorsett is the next closest with six. It’s clear the entire offence now runs through the B-line, but if the Canucks want to have any kind of success beyond the second week of April, they’ll need semi-regular contributions from some of the veteran scorers and the back end as well.
  • With Malkin out, the Canucks will most likely focus their energy on the Crosby line. Brendan Gaunce and Brandon Sutter will be line matched against Crosby, but they might be better off against Jake Guentzel and Phil Kessel. How great is it for the Canucks to even be able to line match at all?
  • Daniel Sedin still has hops. His first-period goal last night was kind of surprising as he and Henrik have basically faded into oblivion. Good to see the Sedins aren’t packing it in quite yet. There may be some gas left in the tank for the future Hall-of-famers.

THE TWITTER TAKE

Cory nailed it!

MY 94 CENTS

Tonight’s could be the litmus test. The Penguins have been waiting for the Canucks since the weekend, but the Canucks looked pretty impressive last night against the Flyers. Nobody is expecting Brock Boeser to have a repeat performance of the last time he played against the Penguins but he does have the hot hand right now so even two goals isn’t out of the question.

Solid goaltending will again decide the chances the Canucks can take.

OVER / UNDER

Loui Eriksson goals (+/- 1)     I feel like the push is the way to go. It never makes sense why an empty-netter motivates guys, but I’m betting it does.

Jake Virtanen MONSTER hits (+/- 2)   I’m going with the over on this. Jake just needs one spark, and I think he explodes. Not sure if Crosby has met Jake yet.

 

The Pint is your home for all things game day. Come down for game day specials like $5 mugs of bud and bud light and get 20% off food if you’re a season ticket holders

  • apr

    I’d like to take this opportunity to say that tanking is stupid. The Oilers are stupid and should be relegated to AHL they are so stupid. For better or worse, I am really enjoying the team’s efforts and plan to integrate rookies (Boeaser, Jake), forgotten prospects (Baertchi, Pouliout), with mid level veterans and the Sedins. Its not pretty and is quite bumpy – but lets call a spade a spade, Edmonton does not deserve McDavid and Draisaitl. The sheer thought of them getting Dahlin makes me want to puke.

    • Oilers are in big trouble. It will take a miracle to get them out of the mess they’re in. I also agree that Oilers can’t win the draft lottery again and any reasonable person has to agree. Other markets struggle to sell seats and need a McDavid or Dahlin to draw fans. Millionaire owners in places like Carolina, Arizona, and Florida must be pulling their hair out, every time Edmonton gets rewarded for incompetence. These owners need to step in.
      This may be why the lottery now happens behind closed doors. Oilers CAN NOT win the lottery again. They just can’t.

    • Let’s clarify. Daryl Katz and who ever he hires to run the Oilers is stupid, whether it by Chiarelli or MacTavish & Lowe. It’s not even conscientious tanking, it’s pure incompetency on the part of ownership and management.

    • Dan the Fan

      You can look at the Oilers, or you can look at the Hawks and Pens. They drafted high and got Kane, Toews, Seabrook, Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, and they won cups. Even the Kings got Doughty with a #2 pick and Brown and Kopitar at #11. Clearly, drafting high isn’t a guarantee of anything, but it’s foolish to point to the Oilers and claim that tanking doesn’t work. You’ve still got to make the most of all your picks, and surround the stars with a good supporting cast.

    • truthseeker

      In a lottery system tanking isn’t stupid….it’s simply illogical. The people who espouse tanking can’t even explain how it helps the team. They’re the types that say meaningless phrases like “we need to get a number one C” or “we need to tank and get a franchise defenseman”. As if it’s somehow controllable.

      Seems to me the canucks have been bad for a lot of the past 5 years. They’ve been in the lottery (with good odds) a bunch of times and yet we’ve never been in the position to draft any of the “generational” talents or even the consensus top picks. The tanking crowd are seriously just stupid people who haven’t thought through the logic of what they are saying. Sure if the NHL were like the old days, worst team gets the number one guaranteed, then maybe they’d have an argument. But the fact they don’t even have the self awareness to realize tanking can’t be controlled and neither can the outcomes of young players, shows their stupidity.

      And seriously bob? Implying there is some conspiracy with the lottery? To give the OILERS the top picks? hahaha……yeah…cause betman wants edmonton to be the leagues best franchise. He wants the best players to be in NY or LA or the sun belt.

      You want a real solution? OK. Have the team that finishes closest to the playoffs get the number one pick. That way you reward trying. Worst team picks in the middle.

      Stop worrying about the oilers. I don’t care if they win the lottery again. Whatever. Plenty of ways to build a good team.

  • Jimjamg

    And with 15! different teams scouts watching the Canucks game in Philly could a Gudbranson auction be in the works? Maybe Vanek too, lots of teams looking for forwards already and he has been productive. Interesting times in Canuckland, and dealing from strength is the time to do it, not in desperation mode like MTL and EDM.

    • Larionov18

      Why would you want them to sell when they are in a playoff spot. Unless it is for a top prospect I say stay the course. Vanek and Gudbranson have contributed and been entertaining…mostly Vanek

      • Jimjamg

        It’s not a question of wanting or not wanting for me, I would be content if management decides to stand pat, except that Gudbranson should be dealt at some point before the end of the year. We should not be paying a bottom 4 D-man $4 or $5 million per year as he is rumoured to expect and likely will get simply waiting to free agency (see Lucic, Milan). Vanek is a different matter, as you say, entertaining and useful in the various creative ways he finds to put pucks in the net and move the puck in the right direction, but hardly a make or break player for us for this year or the years to come, so a moveable asset in my view if the right offer comes along. We need to make room for Goldobin and Gaudette likely before the end of the year and he seems like a prime candidate with undoubted value around the League.

  • Great effort yesterday!
    Another poster compared Brock Boeser to Brett Hull. I totally see that too. Brock is an impressive young man. I very much look forward to seeing him mature wearing Canuck colors. He is special.

    Now, can we beat the Pens? Yes, I think we can. Lets keep this feel good mood going.