Canucks hockey is back! Your Vancouver Canucks take on the Calgary Flames twice tonight which seems like a tall task but they’ll send a split-squad to Calgary and keep the rest in Victoria. Training Camp is officially over and the local island folks will get treated to an official preseason game in their own barn.
There will be a lot of ups and downs this evening but that’s to be expected. Victoria will hopefully get to see an official game with Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes but it’s anyone’s guess as to how the lineups will shakedown.
If his leg holds up, watching Olli Juolevi for the first time in a year will be a treat as well.
Let’s Do This!™
OH, IT’S ON
TV: SNET – RADIO: SN650 – PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM (VICTORIA) 6:00 PM (SADDLEDOME) ALL TIMES PT
Follow along on Twitter after the morning skate. Preseason doesn’t usually give up much for lineups, especially the first game.
Jordie Benn should be in the Victoria game.
Lines in AM skate for the #Canucks group that is expected to travel to Calgary:
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) September 16, 2019
WHAT DO WE WANT TO SEE TONIGHT?
- A power play that involves ZERO drop passes. This team needs to move on from the most predictable play in the Canucks arsenal. Hopefully, with Quinn Hughes here as a mainstay he can help brainwash his new teammates to find other ways to gain the offensive zone. Last season, the Canucks were a frightening 17.1% on the PP which believe it or not, was only the 10th worst in the league. As bad as they were, nine other teams were more clueless than the Canucks.
- If he’s in either lineup, Olli Juolevi in-game action. It’s been a long road for Olli and if he can hang around until the very end of the preseason, the Canucks will be happy to know he isn’t far off from competing for a full-time spot. Will the Canucks finally have defensive depth this season? Time will tell.
- Goals. All kinds of goals. Vancouver was tied for the sixth-fewest goals last season with New Jersey. They scored 219 while the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning scored exactly 100 more goals. After seeing a lot of growth from the Comets last season combined with new blood on the big club, the Canucks might score a few more than 219. I’m putting the over/under at 250.
- Loui Eriksson has been a lightning rod for criticism, and rightfully so, but he’s going to need a big preseason to stay on the Canucks. Yesterday’s scrimmage had him with Adam Gaudette and Josh Leivo. That could be a possible line on opening night so I wouldn’t mind seeing that tested out for a game. Loui knows how to score and his “little things” aren’t going to earn him any favours. If he’s scoring goals, he’s welcome on this team still.
- Jake Virtanen beating the pants off of anyone that tries to outduel him. This may be a make or break season for Jake and there are definitely players that could challenge for a job. He lit up Connor McDavid in the Young Stars tournament a few years ago, he’s due for one of the #murders we’ve longed for.
Two things that Brock Boeser will never do in an NHL regular season…..play 82 game, score 50+ goals.
— Coop (@1Cooop) September 15, 2019
Reid Boucher looks like a different player…he’s much leaner looking this year.
— Comets Cory (@CoryHergott) September 15, 2019
MY 94 CENTS
The Canucks will win in Victoria and lose in Calgary. There are a lot of guys to put in the lineup in the next two days so tonight’s games won’t be lathered with your favourite stars entirely. It’ll be nice to see who stands out though. There isn’t much debate on the final roster right now so everyone is on par until the puck drops.