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CANUCKSARMY GDT 49 – CANUCKS VS. SABRES

The NHL All-Star Weekend is coming up but first, the Canucks and Sabres will do battle in the “Vintage Expansion Bowl” (a name that was just made up) in what could end up being an absolute stunner. Vancouver and Buffalo had their way with the Kings and Oilers respectively on Tuesday night and both teams will look to continue their winning ways this evening.

Jack Eichel is riding a seven-game point streak (5G, 9A) while the Canucks’ are getting a group effort and have seen their power play continue to rise up the charts where they now sit sixth overall. Brock Boeser seems to have returned to his normal self as far as actual point production goes and that could be trouble for the visiting Sabres.

Let’s Do This!™

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: SNET-P

RADIO: SN650

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINE COMBINATIONS

Lines at practice yesterday were the same as Tuesday’s game. Erik Gudbranson will not be in the lineup this evening.

Jacob Markstrom was a gamer and should get the start again.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

 

Buffalo had their way with the Oilers on Tuesday. Don’t expect any changes.

Robin Lehner is the likely starter.

Buffalo Sabres lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • Loui Eriksson was teetering on a hat-trick the other night but it felt like a mirage. There’s no way he continues his torrid pace of three goals in five games but maybe all it took was the right people to get him the puck. Keep an eye on Loui, just a hunch.

  • First, this is the current makeup of the top-8 in scoring for the Canucks. Now, look at the final numbers from a season ago. The obvious thing to note is that the team is in much better shape. Most of this can be pulled from one player, a rookie some may have heard about, and a restructured look as to which players actually should be on the ice. Not to pick on Eriksson but, he’s five points away from his total output last year and he’s been pretty awful this season. It looks like not playing Jayson Megna every night has its rewards.
  • The Canucks don’t have a physical presence. Travis Green has no doubt talked to Jake Virtanen about this and potentially a few other players. Part of this rebuild will involve a bit more skilled muscle because one guy can’t do it all. When Boeser was hit into the boards last game there was no pushback aside from his rocket to the back of the net. This team should be feared when they have the puck just as much as when they do not. It’s quite evident they can be pushed around.
  • Thomas Vanek has been streaky this season but when he contributes, he’s among the best players on the team as his stats dictate. Looking into the crystal ball and predicting his future on the Canucks is a cloudy mess but if this is the kind of production they could expect, another year with Vanek up front wouldn’t be such a bad thing. He’s a ton of fun to watch and like Boeser can find success on more than one line.
  • Vancouver’s power play has received a ton of praise lately and so it should. The main reason is, of course, the final shot usually coming from wunderkind Brock Boeser. Of Boeser’s 24 goals this season, eight of them are PPGs. One-third of his production has come on the man advantage. Do… not… let… him… shoot

THE TWITTER TAKE

P.K Subban a Canuck? I wonder how that would have gone over. Probably, pretty well.

MY 94 CENTS

Don’t let the huge win over the Kings fool you, the Canucks may have outperformed themselves. The equally bad Sabres mirrored the Canucks effort against the Oilers that night so this one is anything but a lock. If, and that’s a big “if”, the Canucks put out an effort like they did on Tuesday and maybe add some physical element (if they have one), then we could be in for a show.

It’s still the Canucks we’re talking about.

OVER / UNDER

Canucks PP goals (+/- 1.5)     Feels weird to say this but, take the over. Something about Brock Boeser?

Bo Horvat Assists (+/- 2)     His setup game is something to behold, take the push on this. Welcome back, Bo!

 

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  • Sandpaper

    Always enjoy your pre-game write ups.
    Hoping Canucks will finally sign Archibald to a contract. Not only will he provide some pushback, he may be a good influence on young Jake.

  • Puck Viking

    The subban trade would have been a disaster for this franchise. It would have totally gutted a team needing a rebuild of all young assets. It goes to show you that management is out of touch with reality.

    • apr

      If it was Subban for the 5th only, it would have been more than fine. We don’t do Gudbrandson or MDZ; we still have McCann and the 2nd – and maybe JB drafts Girard or Kyrou. If its the 5th and Tanev, for Subban and 9th – well, that would suck but be palatable. Its only the guys from Montreal smoking the BC bud thinking it was the 5th, Tanev, and Horvat for Subban.

      • Puck Viking

        I think it was Bo, Boeser and 5. It would have been a terrible deal. Adding a subban or tavares will not fix this team. They have way to much money tied up in bad contracts and no depth. Draft and develop is the only way.

  • apr

    How the hell does the Sabres only have 13 wins? What a joke. And from Oilers Nation, apparently someone left their Oilers jersey in the urinal so everyone can have a go at it. Mind you it was a Sheldon Souray jersey. I have no problems with the team trying to win, and getting a later pick and picking up a Keller and McAvoy instead of Logan Brown or Juolevi – as god knows we are not getting the first overall pick. Besides, we have the Brockstar to prove you can get one of the best player of the draft without having fans pee on your jersey as you purposely tank trying to win a lottery.

    • truthseeker

      when they are healthy they are a decent lineup. I do believe the first part of the season was closer to what this team really is. Depth is a killer though. Not enough back up talent to see us through and prevent that long losing streak.

  • I wish Virtanen would start throwing big (clean) hits and taking the fight to the opposition rather than seeing them injure our top players. I bet if he initiated the physical play, we wouldn’t see cheap shots like Kadri on Sedin, Lewis on Boeser or Keith on Sedin. Be a “shift-disturber” like Ferland was against the Canucks in the playoffs, demoralizing the other team and making the opposition the ones to react.

    • apr

      Virtanen did a cheapish hit on Polak a few years ago and got suspended and this town went ape sh## on the guy. That’s the line guys like Tkachuk, Marchand, Lucic have to play at to be that player. This town, and especially the media, and his coach absolutely turned on Jake (who was a super green rookie) for trying to find that line instead of giving him a little rope. Its no wonder why he’s so apprehensive. That and without Dorsett, who has his back. Tkachuck has Ferland and vice-versa.

      • DJ_44

        There is no vice-versa with the last sentence… Tkackuck is an agitator, not tough. Ferland is tough, big physical. Tkackuck is tough like burrows or Marchant… Which is to say… Not tough at all.

      • Jamie E

        100% agree. Jake what was we wanted and needed physically and the Canucks organization has beaten that out of his game. The over-reaction to that suspension by literally everyone was ridiculous. Physical players cross the line at times and have to face to music.

  • wojohowitz

    Pominville? Maybe they should re-sign Derek Roy. They were a pretty good line ten years ago but today are indicative of Buffalo`s problems this season. A bit like the Canucks bringing back Mason Raymond.

    Jordan Nolan loves playing the Canucks. Watch for the cheap shots and attempts to injure with no pushback.

    Virtanen for Reinhart straight up?

    • Puck Viking

      I would rather Virtanen. Reinhart is slow, I think with Reinhart what ya see is what ya get. With Virt if he ever figures it out will be a 20 and 20 guy who you would think would be great in the playoffs when we get back there in 5 years.

    • Goon

      Anyone who *wouldn’t* trade Virtanen for Reinhart straight up is out of his mind. There’s no way Buffalo makes that deal, though.

      Reinhart’s a centre, he has a *way* higher ceiling, and he has almost as many points this season as Jake has in his entire career, and more points in his career than Jake has games played.

  • Steamer

    Sandpaper stole my thunder! Agree about Archibald. Really, in the big picture, it would be better, perhaps, if the Sabres get the 2 points & we get a better shot at Dahlin or…Tkachuk? Svech? Boqvist?

    • Nuck4U

      Archibald is an AHL guy he’s not good enough to play 4th line on any team in the NHL. He’s a free agent that could be signed by any team at any time. No offers not even from Canucks. Sorry he’s not the answer. You need to be able to play in the NHL on a regular basis. Look at Reaves on Pens he keeps getting scratched.

  • Nuck4U

    Skilled muscle seems to be the theme these days. JV May mature into that but he’s really just a hitter on the tough side. But another home town boy who’s a free agent is in town. Yup skilled muscle and a good fighter is what Kane can bring. He could ride shot gun for Boeser or Petersson who’s likely to come over next season.

    • defenceman factory

      Maybe he can date your sister. I don’t want to see that guy anywhere near the Canucks ever. When a player has been accused of the things he has and his team mates have run him out of one organization already best to just stay away.

      • wojohowitz

        Kane will get traded at the deadline, win a Stanley Cup, sign a 7×7 contract and then get arrested over the summer for something stupid. Taveres, Doughty and Karlsson will all be signing a 10×10. How screwy is it? Buffalo is paying Hodgson $800k per for the next four years.

    • Sandpaper

      Aren’t you also the same guy that got banned from another site for going on and on ad-museum about points that no one else agreed with you on? Also continually arguing with everyone, picking fights, talking politics and generally just being a Richard?

  • BC SPORTS FAN

    How long have we been waiting for Jake to figure it out? He will never be any better than he is now. Let’s just admit that we made a terrible draft pick…

    • apr

      Thats what the Islander said of Bertuzzi when they got rid of him, and Montreal of Leclair before he was booted, and what Vancouver said of Neely before being shipped to Boston.

      • truthseeker

        yep….self loathers have no patience. I’d love to see their investment portfolios as well…students of the “buy high sell low” school of money making…lol.