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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

Canucks Army Game Day 46 – Canucks Vs. Coyotes (Rebirth of Shotgun Jake Edition)

THE INTRO

After an extended break, the Canucks are back in action tonight against the visiting Coyotes who are coming off of a very impressive 5-0 win over the Rangers earlier this week. The Canucks haven’t scored in over a week when they toppled the Senators in OT courtesy of Elias Pettersson. This game could be a nice bounce-back effort and could bump a few slumps in the lineup.

Vancouver is well rested but that also can be a problem because it gives them more time to think about all the things they’ve done wrong and why there haven’t been any goals going in. Tonight is a game for Jake Virtanen to shine, it’s time for him to step it up.

Let’s Do This!™

TV / RADIO / PUCK DROP

SNP / SN 650 / 7:00 PM

LINEUPS

Josh Leivo and Elias Pettersson are expected to skate today but neither will play tonight. Adam Gaudette was recalled and should slot in tonight between Sven Baertschi and Jake Virtanen. Looks like a decent line actually.

The defense has been a bit of a cluster lately and if things keep up the way they are, Jim Benning and Travis Green are going to have to make a decision on a few players, namely Erik Gudbranson and Michael Del Zotto.

Jacob Markstrom will get the start tonight.

Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Nikolay Goldobin
NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN

Rating: 70.0#102 LW

Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 75.5#46 C

Brock Boeser
BROCK BOESER

Rating: 82.9#3 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 76.13#21 FL1
Sven Baertschi
SVEN BAERTSCHI

Rating: 74.3#36 LW

Markus Granlund
MARKUS GRANLUND

Rating: 70.3#154 C

Jake Virtanen
JAKE VIRTANEN

Rating: 71.1#85 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 71.92#25 FL2
Antoine Roussel
ANTOINE ROUSSEL

Rating: 71.6#87 LW

Brandon Sutter
BRANDON SUTTER

Rating: 71.2#134 C

Loui Eriksson
LOUI ERIKSSON

Rating: 70.8#107 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.22#26 FL3
Tim Schaller
TIM SCHALLER

Rating: 69.0#132 LW

Jay Beagle
JAY BEAGLE

Rating: 67.9#193 C

Tyler Motte
TYLER MOTTE

Rating: 69.1#111 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 68.66#31 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Alexander Edler
ALEXANDER EDLER

Rating: 75.9#23 LD

Chris Tanev
CHRIS TANEV

Rating: 71.8#59 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.85#22 DL1
Ben Hutton
BEN HUTTON

Rating: 70.6#105 LD

Erik Gudbranson
ERIK GUDBRANSON

Rating: 69.0#98 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 69.82#29 DL2
Derrick Pouliot
DERRICK POULIOT

Rating: 70.5#106 LD

Troy Stecher
TROY STECHER

Rating: 72.2#53 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.39#20 DL3

 

Injuries have found their way to Arizona and it’s a plethora of pain infecting the Coyotes roster. Christian Dvorak is still sidelined and has been since the beginning of the season, Jason Demers is out for the season with a knee injury, Antti Raanta is out indefinitely and could miss the remainder of the season.

Former Canuck forward Michael Grabner is also out with an eye injury and has no timetable for return, Nick Schmaltz was just downgraded to out and could be done for the year as well with a lower-body injury and finally Kevin Connauton, he’s most likely out for this game with soreness of the body.

And we all thought the Canucks had it bad, sheesh!

Adin Hill may be the starter tonight but again, who ever really knows?

Coyotes lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Clayton Keller
CLAYTON KELLER

Rating: 74.2#38 LW

Derek Stepan
DEREK STEPAN

Rating: 73.3#72 C

Christian Fischer
CHRISTIAN FISCHER

Rating: 73.4#55 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 73.63#30 FL1
Richard Panik
RICHARD PANIK

Rating: 72.3#68 LW

Brad Richardson
BRAD RICHARDSON

Rating: 70.6#150 C

Vinnie Hinostroza
VINNIE HINOSTROZA

Rating: 70.9#90 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 71.28#29 FL2
Alex Galchenyuk
ALEX GALCHENYUK

Rating: 72.8#87 LW

Nick Cousins
NICK COUSINS

Rating: 71.7#120 C

Conor Garland
CONOR GARLAND

Rating: 73.7#48 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.71#11 FL3
Lawson Crouse
LAWSON CROUSE

Rating: 68.8#135 LW

Mario Kempe
MARIO KEMPE

Rating: 71.5#128 C

Josh Archibald
JOSH ARCHIBALD

Rating: 69.1#112 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.79#23 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Oliver Ekman-Larsson
OLIVER EKMAN-LARSSON

Rating: 76.3#18 LD

Niklas Hjalmarsson
NIKLAS HJALMARSSON

Rating: 71.5#64 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.90#21 DL1
Jakob Chychrun
JAKOB CHYCHRUN

Rating: 72.9#56 LD

Ilya Lyubushkin
ILYA LYUBUSHKIN

Rating: 72.0#55 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 72.46#20 DL2
Jordan Oesterle
JORDAN OESTERLE

Rating: 71.4#84 LD

Alex Goligoski
ALEX GOLIGOSKI

Rating: 73.3#48 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.36#11 DL3

YOUR INFORMATIONAL NEEDS FOR TONIGHT’S GAME

  • Vancouver has been shutout six times this season and three times in their last four games. That is cause for concern. Even with Pettersson in the lineup, they have failed to score a single goal six times and that is simply not good enough. We brought up a few games ago that the Canucks are on pace to have (4) 20-goal scorers this season but really, even if that happens there isn’t much after those four. Goals need to start coming or the losses will return and they might start to get ugly.
  • Jake Virtanen has scored 8 of his 11 goals at 5v5 which for his totals, is impressive. He should be utilized more in the Boeser spot on PP2 and has done well off the rush. Jake also is getting pucks on net. His 83 at 5v5 are second only to Bo Horvat who has 85. It would be interesting to see Virtanen on a line with Tyler Motte and Bo Horvat even for just a period. All three players lead the Canucks in rebounds created. It might be an idea to cycle in that line after a Boeser rush or a prolonged controlled possession. Just saying.
  • Brock Boeser is a hat-trick away from 50 career goals. He’s due for a big rush in points and without Pettersson, he’s due to get his dominance back. Hat-tricks aren’t a walk in the park but as far as we can see he’s healthy and that shot deserves some credit.
  • Loui Eriksson has 62 shots through 45 games which just doesn’t seem possible. He also has seven goals which again, doesn’t seem possible. Loui last scored on Dec 20 against the Blues and hasn’t hit the scoresheet since. The stars on the team need to get things going but the bottom-six has been a dog’s breakfast for some time, maybe aside from Tyler Motte, and one goal in 10 games just doesn’t cut it.
  • It’s Star Wars night at the game this evening. It would be great if Travis Green wore a Chewbacca mask for warmups and his assistants wear Storm Trooper helmets or something. The Canucks need some fun injected into the lineup and this would be a good start. Antoine Roussel pissing his opponents off would be nice too!

MY 94 CENTS

This game doesn’t scream cupcake but I mean, it’s not the hardest team to play. There are a handful of players on the Canucks roster that need some love and of the ones carrying the load, the next three, Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, and Jake Virtanen could use a bit of luck to get their games going again. Vancouver had a good thing going in December but January has been anything but memorable.

Thankfully, I was sick for all of Christmas or I’d have more to complain about with this group. Did I mention their power-play sucks?

THE FINAL WORD

On the outside chance this dreadful team makes the playoffs (they won’t) EP deserves Hart votes. When Boeser was going last year we thought he was the essential straw that stirs the drink but seeing Pettersson now, we weren’t even close on that thought a year ago.

BONUS CONTENT

  • Breaking the bank for Erik Karlsson next summer would solve a lot of problems on defence. Having a two-time Norris winner who can still put up over 0.90 PPG, is Swedish and right-handed would be a huge upgrade. I’d rather have one Karlsson, Stecher, and a bag of pucks holding down the fort on our right side over the next 7 years while we rebuild the D through the draft.

    • Puck Viking

      He will be 37 when the contract expires. Just look at Duncan Keith this year as an example. Look at how many guys playing defense over 34 are productive and worthy of 10+ million a season. There arent any..

      Would be better off signing Panarin or Stone to a deal then trading a Dahlen or a Lind for a similar age defenseman. I wouldnt do that either though. As they will be about 34 when their deals expire.

      This is where years of dealing away picks for garbage has hurt us. It is time to sell of vets and look for stop gaps to replace them if needed. Toss 6 million a year at Strahlman for 2 years and do the same with Edler after trading him. These 2 years will allow for guys like Woo, Hughes, Rathbone, Joulevi, plus whoever we draft this season to make the jump. We could even do this again if necessary. This allows us to have cap space not tied up in long term veteran contracts which would allow us the chance to be competitive for decade. I would hate to see a Hughes or out 1st this year leave because we dont have cap space.

      • There are exceptions to the rules. Martin St. Louis and Zdeno Chara were able to sustain high levels of play well into their mid-to-late 30’s. I wouldn’t make this offer to any good or great player, Karlsson is a unique and elite player who I predict will be another exception.

          • One of the considerations is that Karlsson wants market value. That means he’ll be expensive, can a lot of contending teams accommodate him with their current salary cap structure? We’re not contenders now but could be serious in 2-3 years. Our core is Pettersson, Boeser, Horvat and presumably Hughes and Demko, that’s not a lot of core players. Even though we have heavy contracts like Eriksson, Sutter, Beagle, and Roussel, I think we have a bit more flexibility than more established teams.

          • This is probably the biggest impediment to signing Karlsson. Now that he’s settled in in San Jose and they are looking like the elite team everyone thought they’d be at the beginning of the year, he’ll most likely just stay there.

      • Giordano is 35 and one of the frontrunners for the Norris this year. Chara continues to play at a high level. Lidstrom was elite until 40 and could have kept playing if he wanted to.

        Plenty of elite-level defensemen play into their mid/late 30s.

        I’d have concerns about Karlsson remaining elite until 37 given his injury history, but if you’re going to spend a lot of money in free agency, I’d much rather the Canucks be paying $10 million to Karlsson than $9 million to Eriksson and Gagner.

      • Beer Can Boyd

        I’m wondering what kind of defenseman you think the Canucks are going to get in return for Dahlen or Lind? Karlsson will only be 29 at the end of this season, and after a slow start, he’s on fire again, and will surely lead the league in scoring for defensemen once again. I was against this idea at first, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more sense it makes to me. As the poster below stated, “would you rather pay 10 mil for Karlsson, or 9 mil for Loui and Gagner? Its only money, and its not mine or yours.

  • “On the outside chance this dreadful team makes the playoffs”

    Not dreadful at all. Canucks need two points and get back on a roll. Oilers and Ducks are doing all they can to help us out, so lets do our part and move up in the standings.

  • Bud Poile

    Sutter and Eriksson both have MNTC’s and should be trade bait after next season,as well.$10.375 m
    MDZ and Gagner equate to $6.1m of cap space and both should be gone.
    Hughes and Juolevi are the LHD’s that are knocking and expected to take jobs.
    There will be room to accomodate Karlsson and RHD is the hole that needs filling.
    Woo is only 18 years old and the only highly prospective RHD in the system.
    Hughes,Rathbone and Juolevi could use a mentor on the right side.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      Erik Karlsson will be 29 when the season is over. Karlsson is going to be the exact same as Drew Doughty, Shea Weber, Dion Phaneuf, and every other defenceman that has been given a collosal, fat contract in their late 20s/early 30s…..a massive salary cap headache within 2-3 years and a depreciating asset from day 1. Oh yeah, can anybody tell me where a players motivation comes from after they typically sign huge contracts? Look at Edler this year (contract year), he’s already well into his 30’s, yet mysteriously is having quite the rejuvenated comeback year isn’t he….. Hmmmm…. Maybe all those GM’s who keep insisting on only offering 1-2 year deals to players in their 30s are on to something.

      Rather the team walk away from players as a last resort, than to overpay and shortly thereafter/instantly regret it (Hello Little Things!).

      • Bud Poile

        One of the very best RHD’s in hockey is available.
        The Canucks have Tanev,Gudbranson,Stetcher and Biega as RHD’s.
        Give up zero assets and only Aquilini dollars to attain Karlsson..
        Acquiring the best RHD in the game is the issue,not fears and negativity.
        Giordano is being touted as the Norris leader and is 35 years old with two years left at $6.75m per.
        Two-time James Norris winner Erik Karlsson is 28 years of age.

      • Bud Poile

        There are ways to trade him-retain salary,include a prospect and/or pick as SJL says.
        Send him to a team needing to get up to the cap and again,sweeten the deal with a prospect or two,etc..

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    Why is “Let’s do this!” always trademarked in the gameday matchup writeups? According to the government of Canada’s website on trademarks, the Cartoon Network headquartered in Atlanta, GA applied for this TM back on July 07, 2011, but as of July 07, 2014, the application has been abandoned as per section 40(3). So for more than 4.5yrs now, nobody has owned the TM of “Let’s do this!” according to the government of Canada’s official trademark registry.

    Is the “TM’ing” simply an inside joke?

    If so, then I ask what’s up with the “CWD” that appears when you hover your mouse over the “Trash it!” button? I’ve seen others ask this question from time to time, but nobody has responded from what I’ve seen.

    • Killer Marmot

      They’re pretty accurate as later in the day. The current one, for example, has Gaudette with Baertschi and Virtanen. The problem is that CA shows the lineup from early in the day.

      • Nuck16

        Would be nice if it was a live link that auto updates at the same time, but basically it’s almost always showing the lines from the previous game which is of no benefit to anyone.

  • Nuck16

    Also, what was the point of calling up Demko if they’re not going to play him. Would much rather they called him up when they were planning to play him rather than him sit for a couple of weeks getting both rusty and nervous.

    • I’d give Demko a few practices so he knows how the team plays. Goaltenders don’t operate in a bubble, they need to know how their teammates defend, communicate, and how they should play the puck. Long time ago, I was listening to TSN radio, I think it was Dan Woodley, who was talking about how goaltenders need to know how defenders will play different scenarios (who’s taking which man) and where to safely direct rebounds.

      • Nuck16

        I don’t disagree with your points, however I’d much rather see him play his first game soon after the call up when he’s still sharp and he can get the first one out of the way and then could focus 100% on practice when he gets a few games off while Marky does his thing.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Sharks GM Doug Wilson is no one’s fool and has built a very competitive team there. I seriously doubt he brought in Karlsson to NOT sign him because SJ are in the serious conversation as contenders. Karlsson will either stay with San Jose or he can cherry pick which substantial offer made to him he wants, no doubt a team who are also “nearer to winning it.” But #65 in a Canucks jersey? It’d be like dating Jay Lo. Sure would look good. And sure would be expensive too.

    • Looking at SJ’s cap structure, they have $56M tied up in 13 players ($22.7M cap space). That doesn’t include Thornton, Pavelski or Karlsson. Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc will need a raise as their ELC’s are expiring – they should get big raises. Let’s say Karlsson gets $10M, that leaves $12M to sign 12 more players. Even if the cap goes up by a few million, that still isn’t enough to bring back Thornton and Pavelski (without a significant hometown discount). That’s an example of what I’m saying about current competitors and cap structures. SJ is a serious contender *this year* but they can’t be the same team with Karlsson after July. Our cap structure is being rebuilt as our prospects mature so we can absorb a big contract for an elite UFA core player.

      • Jumbo Joe is 39 and will be 40 next year. If he doesn’t retire he’s coming back for cheap.

        Don’t be so sure about the Canucks’ ability to sign a 10 million + player safely. They’ve got over $20 million tied up in untradeable depth players for several more seasons, seriously hampering their cap flexibility, especially if, for example, Boeser gets 7-8 million and EP gets 10+ in the next couple of seasons.

          • There’s no guarantee he wants to come back. He’ll be 40. Most guys are done. If he wants to come back it’ll be for SJ and SJ only. Doug Wilson says “Hey Joe we’re up against the cap and want to contend for the cup again, there’s a place for you on the team for $1.5 million, take it or leave it.”

            Also, the way people are in denial around here about the way Benning’s bad contracts are going to come back and bite them in the next couple of years is really hilarious / depressing.