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CANUCKSARMY GDT 46 – CANUCKS @ OILERS

The Canucks are back from their bye week and should have a boost of energy as Bo Horvat nears his return. You may have heard of him.

Vancouver entered the break on a two-game winning streak and will look to add a groundbreaking third straight victory against the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton was dealt some bad news yesterday when it was revealed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would be out of the lineup for 5-6 weeks with cracked ribs, ouch!

Two teams sporting almost identical records, separated by one point in the standings and looking for a high draft pick. This should be good.

Let’s Do This!™

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: CBC

RADIO: SN650

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINE COMBINATIONS

Unofficially, the lines are pretty much the same since last weekend. Bo Horvat was a healthy participant and took some shifts with the Sedins/Eriksson line, but he won’t play this evening. Look for him to slot in tomorrow in Winnipeg potentially. Nikolay Goldobin was sent down before the break and will get more ice time in Utica.

Chris Tanev is still sporting the junior hockey full cage after having his teeth knocked out. With nothing able to injure his face, he can be fearless. That might even mean a goal or two.

Jacob Markstrom will most likely start and depending on his workload this evening, could see the double-dip this weekend.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is out of the lineup with cracked ribs as mentioned above. That’s a monster blow to an Oilers team already struggling at the bottom of the Conference. A less than explosive Drake Caggiula gets top billing with Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon. No doubt that is going to be a big test.

Cam Talbot should be the starter.

Edmonton Oilers lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • If all goes well, the Canucks will put up their first three-game win streak since the end of October when they put together four victories. There haven’t been many bright spots on the team this season but as they say “winning fixes everything.” It doesn’t put the Canucks in a playoff spot or save anyone on the team, it also doesn’t fix their need for goal scoring but winning feels good and beating Connor McDavid, and the Oilers never disappoints.
  • The rookie race has really heated up with Mathew Barzal taking a commanding eight-point lead over Brock Boeser. Of course, Brock has played five fewer games and is on a team that struggles even to get him the puck. There is an opportunity this evening for Boeser to regain his scoring touch, albeit from a very short hiatus, and get back in that race. Even in defeat, he’s been the brightest light on this team.
  • Loui Eriksson has found his scoring touch (man, that took a lot to hold the laughter back) and he’ll carry a point streak into tonight’s game. The trade deadline will come and go with Loui still a Canuck, but it would be nice to see him produce if he’s going to hang around. Imagine living up to his contract? WOW!
  • Jacob Markstrom needs to be given the reigns of this team. Sink or swim, it’s time to see what he has to offer. The losses will come, but he needs to be a constant back there. He won’t be the number one guy for that long as Thatcher Demko will soon be the main man but it’s only fair that Markstrom is given his proper chance. Eddie Lack was tabbed as the number one over Roberto Luongo… think about that. How much worse could it get?
  • It goes without saying: Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are worth the price of admission. These are two players everyone should be watching from the press box down to the benches. As much as everyone has mocked the Oilers and their teetering rebuild, they’ve accumulated some absolute studs, and if the Canucks continue on their pace, luck has to catch up with them eventually, and they too will get their star.

THE TWITTER TAKE

There have been many requests to make Ray the GM, that’s all fine and dandy, but I don’t think he’s the answer at the top. What I do think is that he should be part of the solution. These are my own views. He’s a smart man, but Assistant GM might be a better fit.

MY 94 CENTS

I half-expect the Canucks to pull this one off tonight (see what I did there?) with the imminent return of future-captain Bo Horvat coming tomorrow. The idea of three-straight wins is so alluring it gives me goosebumps. We can talk about Brock Boeser and his Calder run but as a team, the guys that have surprised this year, there is some promise even though they definitely miss the playoffs again. The trade deadline could mean players like Thomas Vanek, Michael Del Zotto, and God-willing, Erik Gudbranson are shipped off which as bad as that is for two of the three to leave, it opens up spots for Elias Petterson and maybe Adam Gaudette.

Embrace change.

OVER / UNDER

Jake Virtanen OT shifts (+/- 0.5)   This game is going to overtime but will Travis Green be brave enough to put Jake Virtanen out for 3-on-3? Take the over, it’s time for a change.

Thomas Vanek goals (+/- 1)     It’s a push on this one. He scores but he won’t care.

 

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  • Nuck4U

    What does trading two vet D have to do with opening 2 spots up for forward prospects?!?

    But a Sedin retirement and UFA upgrade of Kane over Vanek would fit the bill of roster spots for propsects and change.

    • defenceman factory

      Does Evander Kane actually need to be put in jail before people here stop lobbying for him to be added to the Canucks? Isn’t his reputation of poor judgement and bad behaviour enough to want to avoid him? Even if you can somehow rationalize the accusations he faced in Buffalo he got the bum’s rush out of Winnipeg.

      • Ser Jaime Lannister

        Who is going to be our number one LW next season? Sven?? yikes! Id be willing to forgive his past and give him a clean slate, kids got great speed, size, and loads of talent, (hes perfect for the pacific division)

      • Nuck4U

        He’s reformed off ice and youthful mistakes seem behind him. He loves Vancouver and gives back to community here. Buffalo isn’t a nice place and full of malcontents.

        Anyway, on ice he’s everything Canucks need. He’d get behind and support the leadership of Bo who’s not a d!ck like his current and former teammates.

          • Ser Jaime Lannister

            hahaha what about Eichel? Is he not a headcase ? I mean if we draft Svech or Zadina and fill that LW spot id be ok with that, but as of right now we dont have a number one LW, Sven and Vanek are not the answer.

          • defenceman factory

            Well Kingslayer I tend to agree with you Sven is a bit short of being a top line player however an expensive free agent on a long term deal might not be the right solution.

            Regardless of whether Kane is still the despicable person I perceive him to be his next contract is going to be bigger than Horvat’s and probably bigger than Ericksson’s. If the Canucks need a splash in free agency I’d rather it was for a top notch defenceman.

        • Holly Wood

          Nuck4U.. if Kane had matured off the ice, an NHL team would have picked up on that and a trade would have been already made. Teams crave his skill set but nobody wants him in their dressing room. Buffalo has themselves an anchor.

  • Nuck4U

    When Bo comes he probably takes Gagner’s line who could moved to Sutter’s right and Granlund to Dowd’s line. That leaves taking out JV or Gaunce. Defensively both are the same and one can outskate the team and create a rush on his own to score.

  • It’s those pesky Oilers and their annoying fans again. Voted worst fans in the league.

    Game day prediction: Oiler killer Sam Gagner gets three points, while Baggedmilk from Oilers Nation chews maximum strenght aspirin. Eriksson scores the game winner.

  • Freud

    Behold what happens when you take a bunch of young prospects and then apply the Boston model- the Edmonton Oilers! Let this be a lesson to the Benning slurpers.