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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

Canucks Army Game Day 70 – Canucks Vs. Rangers (Rebuilding For Beginners Edition)

THE INTRO

13 games to go!

The Canucks enter tonight’s game against the New York Rangers with a lot of questions. The obvious news is that Quinn Hughes is officially a Canuck but the fans will need to temper expectations because he isn’t going to single-handedly turn this team around, even Elias Pettersson hasn’t etched his name on the mount quite yet.

There has been a lot of anger regarding the direction of the Canucks going forward and depending on how porous this team looks in the final 13 games, there may be big changes coming even before the Draft in June. The Rangers, on the other hand, have bought into the rebuild and will probably have it figured out before the Canucks do.

Let’s Do This!™

WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

The odds for tonight’s game are: (VAN -125/NYR +105 ) courtesy of OddShark

TV / RADIO / PUCK DROP

SNP / SN 650 / 7:00 PM

LINEUPS

Ryan Spooner is still out but returned to practice so he may suit up. No updates on Sven Baertschi’s return. Guillaume Brisebois was at practice with Troy Stecher as a battery partner, Ashton Sautner and Chris Tanev partnered up as well. It’s highly unlikely Quinn Hughes will make his debut tonight with the ankle injury he sustained with Michigan.

Ben Hutton is still sidelined after blocking a shot which gives the Sautners and Brisebois’ more opportunity to showcase themselves for next season.

Soon though, soon.

Jacob Markstrom should see a start tonight and hopefully, he’s shaken off that rough first period against Vegas where he let in five goals on 16 shots. It was his only sub.700 Sv% game and only his second game below .800. Add to that, 29 of his 52 starts have resulted in an Sv% of .920 or higher.

Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Antoine Roussel
ANTOINE ROUSSEL

Rating: 72.2#83 LW

Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 75.7#48 C

Jake Virtanen
JAKE VIRTANEN

Rating: 71.5#84 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 73.16#29 FL1
Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO

Rating: 73.7#51 LW

Elias Pettersson
ELIAS PETTERSSON

Rating: 77.7#34 C

Brock Boeser
BROCK BOESER

Rating: 81.1#7 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 77.48#5 FL2
Nikolay Goldobin
NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN

Rating: 70.7#102 LW

Adam Gaudette
ADAM GAUDETTE

Rating: 71.7#113 C

Tanner Pearson
TANNER PEARSON

Rating: 72.3#71 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.53#23 FL3
Loui Eriksson
LOUI ERIKSSON

Rating: 71.3#108 LW

Jay Beagle
JAY BEAGLE

Rating: 67.5#186 C

Tyler Motte
TYLER MOTTE

Rating: 69.2#120 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.32#31 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Alexander Edler
ALEXANDER EDLER

Rating: 76.5#18 LD

Troy Stecher
TROY STECHER

Rating: 72.9#52 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.71#16 DL1
Ashton Sautner
ASHTON SAUTNER

Rating: 73.2#58 LD

Luke Schenn
LUKE SCHENN

Rating: 68.6#98 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 70.90#30 DL2
Derrick Pouliot
DERRICK POULIOT

Rating: 71.0#100 LD

Alex Biega
ALEX BIEGA

Rating: 71.8#74 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.37#18 DL3

Brendan Lemieux had a Gordie Howe Hat-trick last game in a losing effort against the Oilers in OT. New York is fairly healthy aside from their team being in the midst of a rebuild but they’ll battle and based on this little clip, the Canucks will need to protect down low:

King Henrik Lundqvist will be in the starter’s net for the Rangers.

Rangers lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Vladislav Namestnikov
VLADISLAV NAMESTNIKOV

Rating: 74.1#64 LW

Mika Zibanejad
MIKA ZIBANEJAD

Rating: 79.5#19 C

Filip Chytil
FILIP CHYTIL

Rating: 70.3#158 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 74.66#27 FL1
Chris Kreider
CHRIS KREIDER

Rating: 76.8#23 LW

Ryan Strome
RYAN STROME

Rating: 72.1#104 C

Jesper Fast
JESPER FAST

Rating: 70.8#96 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 73.24#25 FL2
Brendan Lemieux
BRENDAN LEMIEUX

Rating: 72.8#74 LW

Brett Howden
BRETT HOWDEN

Rating: 71.4#124 C

Pavel Buchnevich
PAVEL BUCHNEVICH

Rating: 72.6#80 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.25#19 FL3
Jimmy Vesey
JIMMY VESEY

Rating: 71.8#96 LW

Boo Nieves
BOO NIEVES

Rating: 70.6#153 C

Connor Brickley
CONNOR BRICKLEY

Rating: 71.5#86 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.28#12 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Marc Staal
MARC STAAL

Rating: 68.5#129 LD

Brady Skjei
BRADY SKJEI

Rating: 73.1#62 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 70.79#31 DL1
Brendan Smith
BRENDAN SMITH

Rating: 70.1#121 LD

Kevin Shattenkirk
KEVIN SHATTENKIRK

Rating: 74.5#32 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 72.32#26 DL2
Fredrik Claesson
FREDRIK CLAESSON

Rating: 70.2#117 LD

Neal Pionk
NEAL PIONK

Rating: 70.3#90 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 70.23#26 DL3

YOUR INFORMATIONAL NEEDS FOR TONIGHT’S GAME

  • Since the beginning of the 2014/15 season (when Benning began his decline), the Canucks have the fewest PPG of any team in the NHL with 202. The Vegas Golden Knights have only been around for just under two seasons and they already have 88. Vancouver’s conversion rate in that time is 17.2%. Is it because they’re too slow moving the puck? Do they not have players that can shoot? Is it the drop-pass plague? They need to watch one game of Penguins hockey and see how easy it can be.
  • Both the Canucks and Rangers have blocked a supreme amount of shots this season. Vancouver with 1034 and the Rangers with 1027. Does it mean there will be next to zero shots on goal? No. It does mean the goals will be at a premium, well that, and the fact Vancouver has only scored 184 to the Rangers 192. Buckle up!
  • Elias Pettersson is only two points away from tying Pavel Bure’s rookie record of 60 with the Canucks. It sure felt like he was going to have this wrapped up sooner but it’s been a bit of rough stretch lately. He has assisted in his last two games but it’s the goals the fans have fawned about this year. If Pettersson notched both points on the power-play he could pass Rasmus Dahlin in that category. Pettersson is the leader in almost every other category for rookies and has a healthy 21 point lead on his rival countryman.
  • Brock Boeser will eclipse his season totals for games played and assists but he’ll need a spark to get to his rookie-high of 29 goals and 55 points. Boeser is sitting at 22 goals on the year and 47 points. Eight points in his final 13 games? No big deal, right?
  • Jake Virtanen has returned and his complete game is what the Canucks will be happy to have back. His 39 total takeaways lead the Canucks with Elias Pettersson coming a close second with 32. The only meaningful takeaways this season have been that the Canucks power-play needs serious work. But you knew that already.

MY 94 CENTS

Just win tonight. Just win.

I don’t care if it takes a comeback, I don’t care if it’s the scrubs that score, just win. Elias Pettersson also needs to get back on the horse. If he’s going to lock up the Calder (which shouldn’t be in question but it is a bit now) he needs a few games down this final stretch that make everyone remember why he stole the show in the first place.

Mathew Barzal did it last season and don’t you think Pettersson has more to offer?

THE TWITTER TAKE

Ugh, we’re guilty too!

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    Pssshhh, accumulating draft picks is for suckers. Benning is a genius. He’s going to be the first GM in pro sports history to successfully rebuild a franchise without even acquiring a single extra draft pick! 🤣😅🤣😅🤣

  • wojohowitz

    The Rangers are interesting because they started a hard `rebuild` two years ago – dumping veterans for picks and youngsters. Is Gorton doing a better job than Benning? At the moment they are tied with the Rangers having 69 points in 69 games and missing the playoffs for only the second year in a row while the Canucks have 65 points in 69 games.

    When the Canucks picked Pettersson 5th overall the Knights picked Cody Glass 6th and the Rangers picked Lias Andersson who has disappointed this season. The Rangers drafting is weak.