TV / RADIO / PUCK DROP
SN, SN1 / SN 650 / 6:30 PM
By now, the Canucks have given everyone a decent idea of where they’re at to start the year. Some good (Bo Horvat/Sven Baertschi connection, Elias Pettersson’s abilities), some bad (too many power play opportunities and nothing to really show for it) and the ugly (Erik Gudbranson still isn’t anything like what his contract says he is).
Tonight, the Canucks travel to Calgary to take on the cliched red-hot Flames in their final meeting before the regular season commences. It’s been chronicled here a few times (why does he do this?) that Dillon Dube of the Flames is having himself a preseason to remember. Dube potted another two goals last night against the Jets and the Canucks will have their hands full with him.
As far as the Canucks are concerned, they have their own weapons to show off so Calgary can chill out.
The NLL hasn’t started yet so for now, the Flames are the #1 ticket in town. Expect a big crowd.
The Canucks will go with this group tonight:
Looks like @Canucks forward combos & D pairs will lineup this way tonight in Calgary:
Game time is 6:30pm PT
— Joey Kenward (@kenwardskorner) September 22, 2018
Calgary will match with this setup:
#Flames tonight vs. Vancouver:
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) September 22, 2018
PRIMED FOR THE PRESEASON
- Vancouver made another round of cuts before tonight’s game sending Kole Lind, Jonah Gadjovich, Guillaume Brisebois, Lukas Jasek, Zack MacEwen down to Utica. Richard Bachman, Tanner Kero and Ivan Kulbakov were also sent down. Shame we didn’t get to see Ivan in action but the crease is crowded enough. Hang in there, champ!
- Olli Juolevi will see more time tonight in hopes his progression can speed up. Losing out on a summer of preparation due to injury puts Juolevi at a serious disadvantage so even if he doesn’t crack the main roster to start, he may just get enough done early on in Utica to take over someone’s job or at the very least be the first injury replacement. Alex Biega and Derrick Pouliot can’t actually be expected to be the heroes, can they?
- Last season was Boeser, this year it’s who else, Elias. What can’t he do? His face-off game still needs work but it feels like it’s just a matter of time before it just falls into place. The Canucks really did steal this kid in the Draft and through all the suffering, Canucks Nation may finally be rewarded yet again. Here’s hoping Pettersson puts the rest of the league on notice tonight. Nikolay Goldobin gets the nod to flank his side.
- Erik Gudbranson hasn’t been noticeable aside from maybe his one hit. Michael Del Zotto, on the other hand, has shown himself to be the aggressor early on this preseason. Could Gudbranson still be an important part of this team with everything else passing him by in the meantime? Tough to say. Re-upping his contract makes it difficult to cheer for a defensive unit that has too many cracks to name. A trade has to be brewing, it has to be. He won’t play so exhale people.
Contrast this with Green’s defence of Pouliot yesterday, and I’m more than a little confused. https://t.co/GqmptbYgfA
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) September 21, 2018
- J.D can’t be the only one wondering about Nikolay Goldobin? He’s impressed a lot of us but why the negativity Travis? It can’t be expected that the fans and media will get the whole story but Goldobin has been good so far and could be a surprising story early on this season. Maybe he needs to wear Tyler Motte’s jersey, who knows?
- Goldobin will get his chance to shine tonight on the top line. He needs to do something special.
MY 94 CENTS
The preseason is awful to judge because there just isn’t a complete picture to critique. As much as the Canucks PP has been on the ice, there have really only been a few opportunities to see what the main package will be and overall what has been trotted out has been good. Jake Virtanen is looking like he could have a breakout season which would really help the rebuild and cross off one thing that needs to happen, Brendan Leipsic has been involved and effective and if he isn’t on this team to start, there should be some questions directed towards Travis Green immediately.
Both teams are trying to finalize rosters so tonight should go a long way in helping that out.
THE FINAL WORD
It isn’t official but this game is the unofficial back half of the first Hockey Night in Canada. Let that soak in. Canucks score first and win a close one.