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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski - USA TODAY Sports

Canucks Army Game Day 54 – Canucks @ Capitals (nOt HeAlThY aNyMoRe Edition)

THE INTRO

Normally, there would be a joke about the injuries the Canucks have accumulated but the last two players that just went down (Alex Edler and Sven Baertschi) have cause for concern. The Canucks travel to Washington this evening to take on the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Capitals.

The Canucks were contained in their last meeting against the Caps by a score of 5-2. With Edler out, there are a lot of minutes that will be passed on to the rest of the defense which also means Erik Gudbranson and Derrick Pouliot will play more, not good. Washington is in the middle of their season-high six game homestand but a solid effort last night from Vancouver could mean tonight’s game will be just as eventful.

Let’s Do This!™

TV / RADIO / PUCK DROP

SN1 / SN 650 / 4:00 PM

LINEUPS

Just when things were starting to clear up the injury bug bit again. Alex Edler went down in a freak sequence of events which had his face smash into the ice causing him to be unconscious for a minute or so. He is staying in Philadelphia to get looked at and will most likely be done for the road trip.

Tim Schaller should stay in the lineup after Sven Baertschi was sent back to Vancouver after feeling ill. It can’t be confirmed if this is related to his concussion but a relapse could be a massive blow to his hockey future.

As for the defensive situation, does Alex Biega slot back in or do they call up someone?

Jacob Markstrom is the confirmed starter after Thatcher Demko tweaked something in practice yesterday. Michael DiPietro has been called up on an emergency basis.

Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Tim Schaller
TIM SCHALLER

Rating: 69.3#128 LW

Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 76.6#41 C

Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO

Rating: 73.3#54 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 73.08#31 FL1
Nikolay Goldobin
NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN

Rating: 69.5#110 LW

Elias Pettersson
ELIAS PETTERSSON

Rating: 79.7#23 C

Brock Boeser
BROCK BOESER

Rating: 82.0#6 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 77.06#5 FL2
Antoine Roussel
ANTOINE ROUSSEL

Rating: 71.0#101 LW

Brandon Sutter
BRANDON SUTTER

Rating: 71.2#136 C

Jake Virtanen
JAKE VIRTANEN

Rating: 70.9#95 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.06#28 FL3
Loui Eriksson
LOUI ERIKSSON

Rating: 72.4#76 LW

Jay Beagle
JAY BEAGLE

Rating: 68.4#181 C

Tyler Motte
TYLER MOTTE

Rating: 69.3#114 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.04#25 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Alexander Edler
ALEXANDER EDLER

Rating: 75.7#19 LD

Chris Tanev
CHRIS TANEV

Rating: 71.6#77 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.63#24 DL1
Ben Hutton
BEN HUTTON

Rating: 71.4#86 LD

Troy Stecher
TROY STECHER

Rating: 72.8#52 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 72.07#28 DL2
Derrick Pouliot
DERRICK POULIOT

Rating: 70.7#103 LD

Erik Gudbranson
ERIK GUDBRANSON

Rating: 68.6#104 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 69.63#29 DL3

 

Turns out, Alex Ovechkin is still patrolling the Capitals first line, so it’s good to see. Christian Djoos is out for some time with a leg injury and will be hanging out in Hershey. Lars Eller is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. No other news to announce.

Braden Holtby should be the likely starter for Washington. Pheonix Copley might get the start just to troll the Canucks, though.

Capitals lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Alex Ovechkin
ALEX OVECHKIN

Rating: 86.0#1 LW

Nicklas Backstrom
NICKLAS BACKSTROM

Rating: 78.0#35 C

T.J. Oshie
T.J. OSHIE

Rating: 78.1#17 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 80.67#6 FL1
Jakub Vrana
JAKUB VRANA

Rating: 73.9#70 LW

Evgeny Kuznetsov
EVGENY KUZNETSOV

Rating: 78.8#28 C

Tom Wilson
TOM WILSON

Rating: 75.6#38 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.11#10 FL2
Dmitrij Jaskin
DMITRIJ JASKIN

Rating: 71.3#96 LW

Nic Dowd
NIC DOWD

Rating: 70.2#163 C

Brett Connolly
BRETT CONNOLLY

Rating: 72.5#73 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.32#23 FL3
Andre Burakovsky
ANDRE BURAKOVSKY

Rating: 72.6#74 LW

Travis Boyd
TRAVIS BOYD

Rating: 72.0#112 C

Devante Smith-Pelly
DEVANTE SMITH-PELLY

Rating: 69.0#120 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.21#14 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Michal Kempny
MICHAL KEMPNY

Rating: 73.2#51 LD

John Carlson
JOHN CARLSON

Rating: 80.2#7 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 76.68#10 DL1
Dmitri Orlov
DMITRI ORLOV

Rating: 73.4#44 LD

Matt Niskanen
MATT NISKANEN

Rating: 73.9#42 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.66#12 DL2
Brooks Orpik
BROOKS ORPIK

Rating: 70.6#105 LD

Jonas Siegenthaler
JONAS SIEGENTHALER

Rating: 72.4#60 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.50#17 DL3

YOUR INFORMATIONAL NEEDS FOR TONIGHT’S GAME

  • Brock Boeser is building on something special. He has four goals in his last seven games. Some of them haven’t been gorgeous but the good players find a way to stay consistent. Boeser hasn’t scored on the Caps yet but he does have four assists in three career games vs. Washington. Time to break the streak.
  • Bo Horvat looks like he’s due for some good luck. He has one goal in his last 15 games and he’s been a warrior through it all. He has the makeup to get it going again and it might take a tap-in or a butt-goal or something ridiculous to get the ball rolling. Bo doesn’t give up and against the Capitals, he’ll shine.
  • Jay Beagle is back in Washington for the first time as a visitor. He’ll get the royal cheer and he deserves it. He’s a Stanley Cup Champion! His last game was his 500th but no one is hyping his 501st game. You came to the right place because no one expects a breakout game from someone in their 501st game. Nobody.
  • Not something that should be lost in the fray is Jake Virtanen’s 5v5 rush attempts. He’s tied for 10th in the league with 11 rush attempts. Speed would benefit young Jake and a Horvat/Roussel/Virtanen line would be fun to watch for longer than a shift if we would be so lucky.
  • For all the #teamplayoffs fans in the room take a peek at how durable the Canucks will have to be to not only make the playoffs but survive a seven-game series which you would hope they’d try to win. Both Troy Stecher and Erik Gudbranson are among the top players in the NHL in the “hits taken” category. Stecher is sixth in the league with 105 HT while Gudbranson is 17th with 94 HT. One of these players is built to take an enslaught of punishment while the other is more suited to try and change the score in his team’s favour. You can guess who’s who. If Edler is out for an extended period of time, these HT numbers will increase which puts the Canucks in a position to incur more injured defensemen. Just saying.

MY 94 CENTS

Prepare for many extra shifts of Erik Gudbranson and Derrick Pouliot. Prepare for defensive Pettersson. Prepare for the PK to be tested mightily.

Alex Edler is out for what we can only assume is a week or two. Just think, when he comes back it’s like getting a trade deadline acquisition for free!

Boeser continues his goal streak x 2.

Those are my thoughts today.

THE TWITTER TAKE

#snowangels

  • Doodly Doot

    C’mon Green. Gimme these lines.

    Roussel – Horvat – Boeser(!)
    This line seems obvious to me could be very dangerous. Horvat is doing everything that’s been asked and more. It’s time to give him the skill he deserves and let him get in on some scoring. It’s got to be wearing on him. When Boeser is with Pete, he’s having to do more work down low or on the boards taking away his shot. With Horvat and Roussel, Boeser can find his open ice and plausibly get off more shots. This is the line I want to see for offensive zone face-offs. This line is the difference maker.

    Goldy – Pete – Virtanen(!)
    There are lots of opinions on where Jake should or should not play. I want to see him use his speed to gain the blue line for Pete. Jake is getting better and better at his decision-making and playing with Pete and Goldy may let him simplify his game, enhancing his effectiveness to great effect. He can back off defenders giving the other guys room to set up and use their creativity. Jake has more finesse than most give him credit for. Pete is the right C for Jake.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    Who will be the ire of the postgame wrapup after this one today? Guddy or Pouliot?

    Does Shaller get to see another 5 shifts on the top line? He’s a bonafide rockstar no? What other Willie D(esque) lineup decisions will Green employ today?