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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

CANUCKS ARMY PRESEASON GAME 7 – CANUCKS VS. COYOTES (Kelowna Edition)

TV / RADIO / PUCK DROP

SN / SN 650 / 7:00 PM

THE INTRO

This is it, this is the final preseason game for the Vancouver Canucks and it couldn’t come any sooner. The Arizona Coyotes will take on the Canucks tonight in a special “home” game for Vancouver; a new venture they’ve started this season moving one home preseason match to a different city in British Columbia every year.

It’s no secret that Kelowna is the gem of the Okanagan, an offseason home to a growing number of NHLers every year and that the Canucks would choose to host their first game of this kind there. Tickets sold out in minutes and bleachers as well as standing room only tickets were made available only a few days ago which also sold out. It’s the most anticipated event in Kelowna since the Cineplex put in the reclining seats in their theatre. We’re still talking about it.

With the latest round of cuts made for the Canucks, tonight’s game will be as close to a regular season lineup as it gets. Injuries aside, this will be the Canucks team that starts on Wednesday.

A few goals would be nice.

THE LINEUPS

Canucks forwards from practice

Defense

Arizona lines

Stay tuned… (will update when available)

THE PREVIEW

  • It’s been a preseason to forget with one more to go. The hype leading up to the start of training camp was electric and then they unleashed the hounds. Someone forgot to wake them up though and this team has sleepwalked through the first six games without making an impact in almost every phase of their game. There are things to look forward to but goals seem like they will be hard to come by after the obvious candidates (Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi, and hopefully Elias Pettersson).
  • Defense and goaltending have been a struggle for both teams leading up to this game with the Canucks tying the Kings for third most goals allowed with 26 and the Coyotes just six back with 20. There’s a chance this one could be a high scoring affair which would be a nice send off for the local crowd.
  • Vancouver has managed to put “pucks on net” more than almost any team except for the Calgary Flames in the six games they’ve played. Registering 201 official shots on goal, they have created chances despite their goal totals saying something else. Both Horvat and Baertschi were among the most active shooters in the league this preseason and they have only played four games each. Boeser should be added to this but his game hasn’t hit stride yet. We shouldn’t have to wait too long.
  • Tim Schaller is an interesting addition but it feels like the Canucks don’t have an answer on their fourth line. Schaller had his best season last year in Boston netting 12G and 10A. It’s been a mess back there and players like Brendan Gaunce although defensively sound did not show up on the score sheet. For the Canucks to dig themselves out of the massive pit they’re in, they’ll need contributions from all four lines and a productive fourth line is more valuable than many will realize.
  • Tonight needs to have a purpose for many Canucks players. No one has stood out from the crowd except for Elias Pettersson and even he hasn’t set the world on fire yet. Does Goldobin find some chemistry with Horvat and Boeser to salvage his unmemorable start? Can Loui Eriksson find the back of the net even once or will he fade into oblivion and make his way to Utica? What about Sam Gagner? Was the goal he scored the other night a sign of things to come or have we already seen the best of what he can offer the Canucks?
  • So many questions to be answered that probably won’t get revealed right away.

MY 94 CENTS

Give me one win Canucks. Give me one win in my hometown. Give me goals. Give me Boeser. Give me Pettersson. Build a spark that gets the season going. Not asking for a lot.

 

We are all Canucks.

THE FINAL WORD

Phew, that was close!