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Photo Credit: Cory Hergott

CANUCKSARMY GDT 52 – CANUCKS VS. LIGHTNING

Saturday nights mean one thing and one thing only: Hockey Night in Canada. Tonight, the Vancouver Canucks take their impressive two-game win streak and put it on the line against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.

Steven Stamkos and his league-leading Lightning squad are fresh off a routine walloping of the Flames and what a showcase it will be when they’re put against the enigma that is the Canucks.

Will it be a blowout like Buffalo or pure luck like in Pittsburgh? One thing is for sure: Brendan Gaunce can’t possibly score in two straight games.

Let’s Do This!™

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: CBC

RADIO: SN650

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINE COMBINATIONS

Tonight’s game will not be for the faint of heart. Canucks head coach Travis Green iced a pretty competitive crew on Thursday versus Chicago so it’s possible we see the same lineup. Ben Hutton and Derrick Pouliot were scratched as was Nic Dowd. The lines should be updated with Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, and Sven Baertschi together. The rest could be a mix again.

Jacob Markstrom is earning that number one job. This might be his biggest test to date.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

 

A convincing win over Calgary on Thursday means, yes friends, no lineup changes are expected.

Andrei Vasilevskiy will compete for the win tonight.

Tampa Bay Lightning lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

WHAT TO WATCH FOR 

  • Brock Boeser – His two-goal performance came against the Kings well over a week ago and he hasn’t scored since. There was an assist against the Avalanche but his output on the scoresheet has been missed. Add to that Boeser only scored in two games in January, it’s time to see BB light the lamp. HNIC is always a good place to get some love.
  • Lightning strikes – Steven Stamkos has two goals in 13 games, Nikita Kucherov has one goal in 10. Don’t sleep on these guys. The All-Star Game was proof they make scoring goals look easy. If tonight is the night for goals, they might not stop.
  • Gaunce but not forgotten – Brendan Gaunce seems to have found a place on the Canucks. Travis Green has obviously had one of his famous “chats” and the results are mounting. Knowing the Canucks have a serviceable forward like Gaunce on their fourth line can help them address a bit more grit and truculence at the trade deadline. Not a buyer in the traditional sense of the term at this time of the year but moves can be made.
  • Since 2010/11, the Canucks have faced the Lightning 10 times and in those games, Vancouver has six PPG. That sounds pretty good except for the fact their clip is a toxic 17.6% through 34 opportunities. That seven PP night probably contributed to that. Their production has improved this season and notching a few PPG against the top NHL netminder is a nice feather in the cap.
  • Erik Gudbranson getting pulled mid-game for a trade. Make this a thing.

THE TWITTER TAKE

Yikes.

MY 94 CENTS

Here it is again, the feared possibility of a three-game win streak. No big deal though, it’s not like the Lightning is the best team in the NHL this year and are the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If the Canucks can play disciplined and score early on Tampa, I do actually like their chances. Green will have to flex that Triple-B line tonight and get Brandon Sutter winning faceoffs.

Goaltending will have to be lights out but that seems to be the case lately. The Canucks can win this but it won’t be easy. No prediction is given this evening.

OVER / UNDER

Canucks win streak (+/- 2.5)    I’m doing it… I am. Take the over

Henrik Sedin Goals (+/- 0.5)     Henrik scores. Plain and simple. We’re all amazed. Not as amazed as when Brendan Gaunce scores, but amazed all the same. Take the over.

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

  • defenceman factory

    Always get a kick out of your game day articles.A bit more effort into the line-ups would be appreciated. Poulliot played last game, he wasn’t scratched. Is Gagner hurt or will he be back? God forbid Green partners DZ and Guddy ever again.

    Gaunce has twice as many goals on the year as Henrik. Sedins played under 12 minutes last game. Seemed about right but can creep up a bit if there are more power plays. Green is using the Sedins effectively.

      • Freud

        Look at Pud trying to justify Juolevi’s scratch by asking about Sergachev.

        Sergachev being scratched by one team but would be the no.1 on Benning’s team. What does that say about what’s going on?

        But we have no idea why Hutton is being scratched, right Pud?

        • Bud Poile

          Sergachev was getting 70% o/z starts,0 PK minutes and plays on the highest GPG scoring team that is first in the NHL.
          Juolevi plays both offense and defense and is said to be a well-rounded d-man.Kills penalties and plays on the PP.
          This reminds me of yesterday where you knew nothing about why Salo chose to give Juolevi a rest after the WJC and instead chose to demean and degrade instead of share information.
          So,again,I’ll ask the rest of the board if Sergachev is playing.

          • Ser Jaime Lannister

            Yes he is, he yelled at a referee and threw a towel in the game against Chicago, which earned him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and was sat for two games. Kuch, Stamkos, Namestinkov, and Sergachev have been struggling of late…expect them to show up tonight.

    • Mr Provolone

      I was pleased with the MDZ signing at the beginning of the season but more than halfway through the season I am terrified everytime he touches the puck in his own zone. The combination of Michael Del-Zaster and Gudd-awful paired together must have forwards around the league salivating…..

    • Nuck4U

      Yup on Pouliot he was goat on Hawks first goal. Anyway I say it’s PTSD from ‘94 that causes these memory gaffs lol. I still can taste the tear gas.

      If Nucks can keep Bolts off score sheet 5v5 they have a chance with special teams being close. Could be a moment for Boeser and Gaunce to shine in respective roles. Though would like to see more of Horvat and JV power it on.

  • BC SPORTS FAN

    Del Zaster and Godbrandson must be the worst D-man pairing in the history of our beloved Canucks. Our goalies must get ulcers when they see these 2 guys playing together. The sooner they are traded the better it will be!!!