Canucks Army Game Day 50 – Canucks Vs. Red Wings (Another Slow Start Edition)


Your Vancouver Canucks enter today’s game on the outside looking in (to the playoffs) but with the anticipated return of Elias Pettersson looming over this matchup, playoffs are of little concern. The Detroit Red Wings are in town for a local matinee, a bit out of the ordinary, but that’s OK.

Vancouver is looking to clinch their second win in three games against a Red Wings team that is definitely “losing for Hughes”. The Canucks have employed a “wait for it…. wait for it… STRIKE!” approach for a good portion of their season but they’ll need to start getting pucks on net earlier in the game if they’ve internally bought into a longer spring. So long slow starts, hello alien-mode.

Let’s Do This!™


SNP / SN 650 / 1:00 PM


Elias Pettersson skated again yesterday and Travis Green was hopefully EP would get the “thumbs up” to play today. I’m saying he does and puts on yet another alien-like performance.

The winning lineup from Friday wasn’t all that impressive so hopefully, Nikolay Goldobin gets a shot to prove himself yet again.

Jacob Markstrom most likely is back between the pipes today but seeing another Thatcher Demko start wouldn’t be the worst. Even in one game played, Demko looks like he could challenge for the number one job sooner than later.

Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Antoine Roussel

Rating: 70.8#95 LW

Bo Horvat

Rating: 75.2#50 C

Brock Boeser

Rating: 80.9#8 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 75.64#26 FL1
Sven Baertschi

Rating: 74.2#37 LW

Brandon Sutter

Rating: 71.5#129 C

Jake Virtanen

Rating: 71.1#89 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 72.28#27 FL2
Tim Schaller

Rating: 68.9#119 LW

Markus Granlund

Rating: 71.9#115 C

Josh Leivo

Rating: 72.7#60 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.16#23 FL3
Loui Eriksson

Rating: 71.6#78 LW

Jay Beagle

Rating: 68.2#195 C

Tyler Motte

Rating: 69.4#114 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.71#23 FL4
Alexander Edler

Rating: 75.3#23 LD

Chris Tanev

Rating: 71.5#66 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.41#23 DL1
Ben Hutton

Rating: 71.2#94 LD

Troy Stecher

Rating: 73.2#42 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 72.17#21 DL2
Derrick Pouliot

Rating: 70.7#102 LD

Erik Gudbranson

Rating: 68.0#104 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 69.39#29 DL3


Evgeni Svechnikov is out until the spring after knee surgery, Trevor Daley is out with a broken foot and will be out until February. It’s possible that Michael Rasmussen could return today and Danny Dekeyser has just returned from injury as well.

Happy belated Birthday to Thomas “Tommy Gun” Vanek, whose birthday was yesterday.

Jimmy Howard should be the starter for Detroit today.

Red Wings lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Tyler Bertuzzi

Rating: 74.4#35 LW

Dylan Larkin

Rating: 78.5#28 C

Gustav Nyquist

Rating: 75.3#49 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 76.07#23 FL1
Thomas Vanek

Rating: 72.7#62 LW

Frans Nielsen

Rating: 72.3#95 C

Anthony Mantha

Rating: 75.4#38 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 73.48#20 FL2
Darren Helm

Rating: 71.3#134 LW

Luke Glendening

Rating: 69.7#172 C

Andreas Athanasiou

Rating: 76.1#43 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.34#10 FL3
Justin Abdelkader

Rating: 69.9#111 LW

Christoffer Ehn

Rating: 71.5#128 C

Martin Frk

Rating: 69.2#116 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.19#19 FL4
Niklas Kronwall

Rating: 72.0#70 LD

Mike Green

Rating: 74.9#29 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.46#22 DL1
Dan DeKeyser

Rating: 72.0#68 LD

Nick Jensen

Rating: 71.2#71 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 71.58#25 DL2
Jonathan Ericsson

Rating: 69.7#119 LD

Dennis Cholowski

Rating: 71.9#61 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 70.77#20 DL3



  • Unless there is a setback, all signs point to Elias Pettersson rejoining the Canucks today. He still leads all rookies with 32 points, despite his second injury this season that has kept him out of the lineup this time for five games. The Canucks could sure use his help.
  • Detroit’s Dylan Larkin is having himself a season. Larkin is already up to 47 points and has six points in his last three games. Vancouver will need to keep an eye out for the Red Wings forward today.
  • If the stats are any indication, Sven Baertschi is about to have a game to forget. Since his return from a concussion, almost like clockwork, he’s scored every third game. He did notch an assist in his first game back but he’s been true to that pattern since December in the goal column. The return of EP40 will help the lineup along which could mean Baertschi and Horvat could spend time together today racking up points.
  • Once again, this is a matchup of two clubs with awful special teams. Power-play and penalty killing have been the Achilles heel for both teams so it might be wise to stick to 5v5. Detroit and Vancouver are both ranked in the bottom-10 for PK and PP, with the exception of the Canucks being one spot out of the bottom on the power-play. Like a broken record, the return of Pettersson for the Canucks could pay immediate dividends and start the slow, painful climb out of the basement.
  • Today’s game will be up for grabs until the very end if history is any indication. Detroit and Vancouver have seven and nine wins respectively when outshooting their opponent this season. That’s good for 6th and 10th worst in the NHL. The Canucks hold the edge for wins when they’ve been outshot by their opponent with 13 to the Wings 11. Hold onto your butts!


Today is a Pettersson day. Every game he sat out had to have eaten away at his being. He needs hockey, hockey needs him. Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat have shaken off a bit of that monkey on their backs and today could be the day he stays away. Vancouver has received strong games lately from Sven Baertschi and oddly enough Derrick Pouliot and even Alex Edler is making a push to be relevant again.

On the defensive side of the puck, Troy Stecher and Ben Hutton need to be a thing going forward. There seem to be less glaring errors when they’re on the ice together which in turn means more opportunity to score at the other end.

If the Canucks are disciplined today and even put a few extra shots on net, maybe even on the power play, they’ll have a strong chance to put up a W after 60 minutes.


There will never be another like him.

  • It is going to be an exciting finish to the season not sure if they make the playoffs but sure will be fun watching them learn to play in pressure situations. Games are going to get tougher as they get closer to the end especially the teams that are making the playoffs will be tougher to play against.

  • *Sigh* Every time i watch Detroit play I am reminded that their number one centre DYLAN LARKIN, one of the fastest skaters in the league, was available to us… but the ‘draft guru’ passed and chose f-kin 4th line bust Jake Virtanen instead.

    Totally unacceptable to this day when he KNEW we desperately needed a legit succession plan to Henrik Sedin. Dylan was thee guy.

    Sickening, and one of many reasons why in five years under Bennng there has been a one and done then zero playoffs since.

    • Whenever I read a post like this, I always think of EVERY TEAM in the NHL passing 8 times on Luc Robataille. Or, Pavel Datsyuk, drafted 171st overall. Yes, Larkin is a stud, already a top 10 centre in the NHL. But hindsight is always 20-20. And very persistent rumours have posited that the Canucks ownership were deeply involved in the decision to draft Virtanen. Who, btw is still only 22 years old, and I doubt most hockey people would consider him a 4th line bust. And if you are going top blame Benning for what was certainly a dubious choice, you should also acknowledge that he stole Pettersen with the 5th pick 2 years later. Credit where credit is due.

    • How do you think the Islanders feel? They picked Michael Dal Colle. And the Islanders who picked Hadyn Fleury?

      There isn’t a manager in the league with more than 8 months experience who hasn’t passed over terrific draft picks.

    • Yeah, too bad we didn’t pick at #5 and take Michael DalColle. The Islanders scooped us before we could get to him. I hear he’s going to start lighting up the ECHL any day now.

      If we could revisit all past drafts and take the BPA with the advantage of hindsight, all Vancouver fans would be bored with winning all the time. I bet you’re one of those billionaires who saw every big shift in the market coming and invested appropriately, right? You bought Bitcoin at $10 or so and sold for thousands. Boy I wish I was as smart as you.

    • As a guy hired for his scouting and drafting smarts Larkin and Pastranak probably stand as the biggest draft misses from Jim. Especially seeing as the latter was chosen by Boston, so JB would’ve known how good the kid was over every other GM.

      Can you imagine Larkin, Petey, Horvat and McCann (or Gaudette) down the middle plus Pastranak, Boeser and Tkachuk on wing!!!! Wow, that’s elite level talent and depth right there. No excuses for me, this was totally do-able.

      • Whining about drafts from years ago isn’t that interesting but if that’s what people want to do it really is too bad Gillis didn’t draft Erik Karlson instead of Hodgson. Massive draft miss and was totally doable. Would have definitely been enough to win it all in 2011.

        • Gaudreau(PPG NHL player) was available to Gillis but the scouting/development master mind took Honzik,Grenier,Labate and Jensen as his picks before Johnny was drafted. Gillis blew pretty much every pick he ever had(except Bo). Arguing with a banned troll CA can’t control is as silly as Gillis’ draft record.

          • Wow, just checked the 2011 draft! Gillis swung and missed on the draft. That draft produced an amazing amount of quality players. Check it out all you Gillis fans over at hockeydb

          • huh!!! sorry but what does this have to do with gm jim benning and the current vancouver canucks over the past five years. this is redundant ancient history and of zero relevance. kinda like whining about justin trudeau’s decisions and blaming stephen harper’s government for it.

      • And miraculously, the Canucks were able to draft Larkin and Pasternak IN THE SAME DRAFT!!!! Memo to BT, if you are going to troll, at least proof read your own posts. LOL.

        • Memo to BCB, the Canucks had two picks in the first round IN THE SAME DRAFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6th and 24th, Pastranak went 25th. At least do your research if you are gong to troll. LOL.

          • So with the 13th, 14th and 15th picks in the 2015 draft, why didn’t the Bruins draft Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor, Thomas Chabot, Colin White, Brock Boeser or Travis Konecny?

            LOL at the hindsight heroes.

    • He PQW. Pretty sure the Canucks have a succession plan for Hendrik. Kicked in the year after he retired. Not the one you you long advocated for same reason (cough…. Glass …cough) …. but it looks to be pretty good.

    • Here is the thing. If by some miracle we could go back in time and draft Larkin we would not have drafted Petey. Wouldn’t need him. Any science fiction buff can tell you if you change even a molecule in the past you change everything in the future.
      And following in all the stock tips, if you had bought Canopy Growth the pot stock three weeks ago you’d have made 58% already.

  • Could it just be possible that the Detroit and Boston management teams also didn’t know how good Larkin and Pastrnak would be, and that they simply selected the best players available on their lists?

  • Why all the clandestine mystery about whether Petey plays today or not? This is on the club and I get they must be cautious about his recovery. I’m a long time Canuck fan but watching EP40 is the most exciting Canuck to watch since Pasha Bure and am disappointed when he’s not in the line up, because they can win. Still hate these early games though.

  • Sometimes when your best player comes back the rest of the team stands around watching , expecting the star to carry the load. Fortunately the last game started so poorly I’m sure Green will have them eating steel and spitting out nails. Every game is a must win.

  • Even Alex Edler is making a push to be relevant??? He is the top defenseman on on the team and has been for many years.
    What is with your love affair with Goldobin? He only got his points early giving the puck to Patterson. He is soft and wants nothing to do with the Canucks hard forecheck. Hasn’t scored a goal in ages. Just hope we can find someone to take him off our hands.

    • You nailed it Harry Stan. The hockey has gotten tougher and he hasn’t so Leivo has taken his spot and doesn’t look like he wants to give it up. He’s bigger, faster, shoots harder and his play making is improving. Another JB trade win!!

  • Don’t know where you are getting your stats package from that you quoted today. Canucks are 21st on the pp, not one spot from last place. The P.K. has successfully killed of 14 of the last 15 going into today. I suggest you use NHL.com