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Photo Credit: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Canucks Army Game Day 21 – Canucks @ Wild (Almost Home Edition)

THE INTRO

“ALEXA, Which NHL team has played the most games on the road this season?”

The Vancouver Canucks.

You don’t need Alexa or Siri to figure this one out. Vancouver comes into Minnesota tonight having played 13 road games so far this year, two more than the next closest team, the Vegas Golden Knights. The Canucks have been tested, battered and bruised but they’re among the top teams in the league and even though the final few games of this road trip haven’t gone as planned they’re playing with a lineup that has been asked to do way more than many thought was possible.

The Canucks will try and curb their losing streak tonight and end the road trip on a high note.

Minnesota is also coming off a loss, although lots of teams lose to the Washington Capitals. This game might not be pretty but Vancouver’s luck has to turn around sometime.

Let’s Do This!™

TV / RADIO / PUCK DROP

SNP / SN 650 / 5:00 PM

 

LINEUPS

Brendan Gaunce and Alex Biega aren’t going to make the Canucks a better team in one game so expect them to be stapled to the press box, not outside it but just up… you get what I mean. Status quo on the injury front but hopefully there is better news for the game Saturday. Expect Travis Green to juggle a bit more this evening if things don’t start the way he likes.

Weather the storm with the available bodies, home cooking is 60 minutes away.

Richard Bachman would be a great start today. Does Travis Green agree or is this just another empty wish? Jacob Markstrom needs… a… break.

Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Antoine Roussel
ANTOINE ROUSSEL

Rating: 71.7#80 LW

Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 76.3#42 C

Loui Eriksson
LOUI ERIKSSON

Rating: 73.6#52 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 73.88#30 FL1
Nikolay Goldobin
NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN

Rating: 71.5#83 LW

Elias Pettersson
ELIAS PETTERSSON

Rating: 76.1#44 C

Jake Virtanen
JAKE VIRTANEN

Rating: 71.5#80 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 73.07#25 FL2
Tim Schaller
TIM SCHALLER

Rating: 69.6#116 LW

Markus Granlund
MARKUS GRANLUND

Rating: 71.8#126 C

Tyler Motte
TYLER MOTTE

Rating: 69.2#108 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.19#30 FL3
Darren Archibald
DARREN ARCHIBALD

Rating: 70.6#97 LW

Adam Gaudette
ADAM GAUDETTE

Rating: 72.1#116 C

Brendan Leipsic
BRENDAN LEIPSIC

Rating: 71.2#85 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.30#8 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Derrick Pouliot
DERRICK POULIOT

Rating: 70.8#97 LD

Chris Tanev
CHRIS TANEV

Rating: 70.8#85 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 70.76#29 DL1
Ben Hutton
BEN HUTTON

Rating: 71.7#80 LD

Erik Gudbranson
ERIK GUDBRANSON

Rating: 71.1#77 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 71.39#27 DL2
Michael Del Zotto
MICHAEL DEL ZOTTO

Rating: 71.9#75 LD

Troy Stecher
TROY STECHER

Rating: 72.2#53 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.03#14 DL3

 

Eric Fehr should play tonight but he was MIA yesterday at practice because he became a dad. If you have a few extra bucks to spare, bet on Fehr scoring at least one. No one is hurt for the Wild so it’s a healthy lineup against banged-up Canucks team.

Devan Dubnyk is the likely starter for Minnesota despite some neck soreness, probably from turning around and looking at all those goals going past him? Right? Get it? Naaah, just kidding, Markstrom almost leads that category.

Wild lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Parise
ZACH PARISE

Rating: 76.1#27 LW

Mikko Koivu
MIKKO KOIVU

Rating: 74.6#56 C

Nino Niederreiter
NINO NIEDERREITER

Rating: 73.2#52 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 74.63#27 FL1
Jason Zucker
JASON ZUCKER

Rating: 79.2#11 LW

Eric Staal
ERIC STAAL

Rating: 81.4#10 C

Mikael Granlund
MIKAEL GRANLUND

Rating: 80.1#20 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 80.22#1 FL2
Jordan Greenway
JORDAN GREENWAY

Rating: 72.5#70 LW

Joel Eriksson Ek
JOEL ERIKSSON EK

Rating: 70.7#151 C

Charlie Coyle
CHARLIE COYLE

Rating: 71.8#76 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.68#20 FL3
Marcus Foligno
MARCUS FOLIGNO

Rating: 70.5#100 LW

Eric Fehr
ERIC FEHR

Rating: 70.3#99 C

J.T. Brown
J.T. BROWN

Rating: 69.4#105 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.06#22 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Ryan Suter
RYAN SUTER

Rating: 79.5#4 LD

Mathew Dumba
MATHEW DUMBA

Rating: 77.9#16 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 78.68#2 DL1
Jonas Brodin
JONAS BRODIN

Rating: 75.1#27 LD

Jared Spurgeon
JARED SPURGEON

Rating: 78.5#14 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 76.79#2 DL2
Nick Seeler
NICK SEELER

Rating: 73.7#38 LD

Greg Pateryn
GREG PATERYN

Rating: 72.0#59 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.84#6 DL3

 

THE INFORMATION YOU NEED AND DEFINITELY SOME YOU DON’T

  • Losses to the Sabres, Rangers, and Islanders might have discouraged a weary fan base but a win this evening vaults the Canucks right back up the standings into a tie for third in the NHL. Game to game it’s tough to take seeing it fall apart at the end but Vancouver has done enough before the New York swing to build up a bit of a buffer. They’re not out of the woods yet, they’ll have to step into the Wild to ge… OK, these puns are terrible.
  • The power play will live and die with Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson but an 18.5% efficiency rate is not good enough. The Canucks are just shy of the most power play opportunities in the league at this point (65), six fewer of where they were last season on this day. In both seasons, their completion rate has not been good and rightfully so with the Sedins anchored on the top unit for a good portion of last season. The coaching staff has to adjust and see the options they have when they go up a man because right now this team is beyond predictable and they need to create a fresh look.
  • Switching to the PK, the Canucks are the least disciplined team in the NHL going shorthanded a whopping 76 times so far! Their 80.3% kill rate sounds good but it’s nothing to write home about. Losing Alex Edler and Brandon Sutter should not be overlooked and considering who has been asked to fight off the pressure, the team has fared pretty well. They could consider being a little less sloppy, it wouldn’t hurt.
  • When Alex Edler was healthy he was a minute muncher, while he’s been out that title has gone to Chris Tanev. Furthering the point, Tanev is spending just under four minutes per game killing penalties, that’s too much. He’s the Canucks most reliable defender and his talent is being wasted physically and mentally making sure one of his teammate’s mistakes isn’t capitalized upon. Special teams have dictated a few games lately and there’s no reason to keep that pace up.
  • Jake Virtanen has created some serious steam in all facets of his game so far and on the power play, he is right in the mix of the top shooters on the team for iCF. At this point in the season, the sample size is small but his output is just behind Elias Pettersson, Nikolay Goldobin, Bo Horvat, and Brock Boeser. Virtanen is gaining trust and with the growing amount of power play opportunities coming as well, Virtanen might be a smart option to throw in with EP on the top unit.

MY 94 CENTS

I’ve been patient, I’ve held off being judgemental but Vancouver has to find a way to curb these late game flops. Green needs to throw Troy Stecher on a PP1 shift, maybe even a few and let him properly distribute the puck from the blue line to Pettersson and, from a recent post game article written by Jason Botchford, Adam Gaudette.

In the post, he chronicled Gaudette’s effectiveness from the left side or “the Boeser spot” as some have called it. With Boeser out, why not put a guy in that can do the same thing. He DID win a Hobey Baker award after all. This early in the season, the Canucks can afford to try a few different ideas and they’re basically playing with house money right now so why not?

THE FINAL WORD

  • bmg01

    Bachman has been confirmed to start…I agree with getting Stetcher some power play time too. Pouliot has been awful and I’m still struggling to try and see what TG must if he keeps putting him out there for it. Right now should be Stetcher and Hutton on the PP.

  • “ALEXA”, it’s game day. Go get me another brewsky and make me a sandwich while you’re up. No? You’re fired, I can tune to 1040 myself. I have a remote for that.

    Now to the real business at hand. It must be getting close for some of our top guys to return. Until then, hard work is the order of the day.

    Go Nucks Go!

  • Kanuckhotep

    For now Minnesota as a depth/veteran club must win now!! Against an injured riddled, rebuilding Canucks squad. The pressure is much more on the Wild to win than Vancouver. If Green can get his line up to continue their hustling style of game it might turn out better than you think. And the Wild have zero injuries. Must be nice.

  • Kootenaydude

    Totally agree with Gaudette getting some time on the power play shooting from the Boeser spot. It has to be frustrating being a Hobey Baker award winner and not being utilized properly on the power play.

  • truthseeker

    well….they’re curing that “late game flop”, by just losing outright….lol.

    rough end to the road trip. Bachman’s having a rough night. This is the kind of game I just turn off.

    Hopefully it’s just the fatigue of a long road trip. Reset and get back to work at home.

  • LACANUCK

    People.. CA, talk about Jakes hockey sense. Fair enough, but I think it is time to start to talk about Travis Greens player sense. Let’s take for granted, young players/ injuries fine.
    Why play Markstrom to lose back to back, then leave Bachman a couple of days to think about stopping the slide?
    As hockey fans, we get the injuries and youth, we know that playing back to back on another road trip in the Eastern time zone is tough. Play Bachman at the Islanders. He was left out to dry by Travis.
    Green was a scorer in Jr that had to reinvent himself in The NHL to stick around. A chip on the shoulder guy. Works for a while… eventually you deal with people, not carbon copies of your younger self.
    Bachman deserves better

    • TheRealRusty

      Bachman is no longer a NHL goalie. Makes one wonder why we passed on Curtis McElhinney who was claimed by the Carolina Hurricanes and Calvin Pickard who was claimed by the Flyers.

  • Bud Poile

    Nilsson was having a good start to the season before the injury curse.
    Travis is compelled to exasperate this curse by constantly overplaying his best players.
    How much longer before another major injury ?

      • Bud Poile

        I was thinking the same thing about you,PQW.
        How does a banned member continue to post ad nauseum here weeks after officially being told to fuc(k) off by Ryan?
        Back to Juolevi – instead of dealing with your mental shortcomings,PQW.
        I see on the CDC board that ‘westcoastsniper’ posted:
        Juolevi ranks 5th in points per game for AHL D man 20 and under in the last 20 years with minimum 10 GP.
        The other 4… Erik Karlsson, John Carlson, Ryan Murphy and Erik Brannstrom.