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CANUCKSARMY GDT 51 – CANUCKS VS. BLACKHAWKS

In what feels like forever since they last played, the Canucks take on the Blackhawks at Rogers Arena this evening and the feel isn’t quite what it used to be. The rivalry has come pretty much to a complete halt so unless they play each other in the playoffs again, this is just a test for the Canucks to see how they match up. February will be a busy month for Vancouver and could end with fireworks or a fizzle depending on how management directs the ship.

But tonight, there will be no Chelsea Dagger just a whole lot of Brock Boeser… hopefully.

Let’s Do This!™

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: SNET-P

RADIO: SN650

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINE COMBINATIONS

Maybe Erik Gudbranson plays tonight, maybe he doesn’t. Alex Biega for one period is a better option than Gudbranson so if the Canucks are trying to trade him he’ll have to slot in soon. There was word Boeser will be reunited with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi and we all have time for that. That would create a spot for Jake Virtanen to play with the Sedins.

Jacob Markstrom should get the go tonight.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

 

Tonight is the first time Anthony Duclair will face the Canucks as a Blackhawk. He gets top billing with Jonathan Toews and Alex Debrincat. Quite a line indeed! The Hawks can burn you on any line it seems but they have some heavy talent on the first two lines. Chicago won on Tuesday so the lineup will probably stay the same.

Anton Forsberg should start but the cool play would be Jeff Glass.

Chicago Blackhawks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • Since January 1, the Canucks and Blackhawks are 10th and 14th in the league for goals-against. Tonight could end up being a smorgasbord of scoring for both teams so if you have to miss it, set those PVR’s for an hour or so after it normally ends because you might need it with all the goal stoppages.
  • Another day, another special teams battle. Enter the Canucks, 9th in the league with a 25.7 PP% in January. Enter the Blackhawks, 6th in the league with an 85.7 PK% in January. Most of this game will probably be decided at 5v5 so the Sedins may feast this evening as they have lead the Canucks in the CF category since the stat began… OK, not exactly but you get the point.
  • Sven Baertschi popped the OT winner on Tuesday and in his last five games he’s put up a pair of goals and an assist. Nothing major but he’s just over 0.5 points-per-game this season. As the games continue, he’ll get his opportunities to maximize potential with Boeser and Bo Horvat. It might not be the top line forever but for now, it works.
  • More of something to not watch for – Derek Dorsett still is 7th in the league in PIM with 74 minutes. It is such a shame he isn’t on this team anymore because that’s the contract that the Canucks should try and search out: a true grinder that can score every now and then. Erik Gudbranson is very much not the person they should retain.
  • Social media was on fire when someone suggested that the Canucks shouldn’t pass to Boeser on the PP. It was more about Alex Edler passing to him but Daniel Sedin should be the guy the team keeps the puck away from on the man-advantage. Daniel is 4th in the league this season with 23 missed shots via the PP. In comparison, Boeser has 14 which is fair because most of them go in.

THE TWITTER TAKE

There is no way this goes down, no way whatsoever. If the Canucks sign him for 5 years there will be some massive riots in the streets. That would be unforgivable. Even Brock Boeser might walk if that happened. Don’t make him walk, Jim.

MY 94 CENTS

Vancouver turned the Blackhawks inside out back in December and they weren’t even healthy when it happened. This is about as healthy as this team has been so maybe the Canucks go for seconds on a Hawks team that isn’t all that ahead in the standings. If it turns into a special teams battle, take the Canucks to win this one.

Do not remind me I was wrong about Troy Stecher last game, I remembered.

OVER / UNDER

Gudbranson Trade References (+/- 1.5)     This is the story right now. Take the over.

Patrick Kane/Brock Boeser All-Star Game highlights (+/- 0.5)     There’s only one clip I can remember but it’s Boesermania so they play the clip. Take the over.

 

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