The Vancouver Canucks’ coaching staff and management group have some tough decisions ahead of them.
Tonight, the Canucks will play their final game of the preseason before kicking off a six-game road trip to open their regular season Wednesday night in Edmonton.
And wouldn’t you know it, they’ll face off against the Oilers tonight.
— Canucks PR (@CanucksPR) October 9, 2021
- Jack Rathbone continues his ironman streak of preseason games. With Brad Hunt not in the lineup and Rathbone set to skate on the third pairing next to Schenn, it’s likely safe to say that not only has Rathbone made this team, but he’s also likely earned a spot in the opening night lineup in the same spot alongside Schenn.
- Jason Dickinson isn’t in the lineup. He’ll be there opening night, obviously, so this should absolutely be viewed as a final audition for players like Matthew Highmore, Nic Petan, Justin Dowling, and Phil Di Giuseppe. It might even be safe to throw Vasily Podkolzin’s name into that mix.
- At practice on Friday, Elias Pettersson skated with Conor Garland and Alex Chiasson on his wings.
- The Oilers will be missing Connor McDavid, Leon Draisatl, and Darnell Nurse tonight. With the Canucks icing a lineup that is nearly identical to what they’ll likely throw out on Wednesday, this could be a good confidence booster game for Vancouver.
What was said
Pre-game media availability is set to kick off at 3:30 from Rogers Arena. Check back around 4 PM to see what was said by Travis Green and the selected players.
Travis Green had more glowing reviews for Jack Rathbone, who gets another look tonight.
“He’s playing well, he’s going through the vigours of a hard camp much like in an NHL season would be, he’s probably played a few games when he’s tired,” said Green. “But, you know, there’s a reason why we’re putting him in, we want to see where he’s at and again, we’ve got to make a hard decision at the end of camp.”
Green added that part of the philosophy of getting Rathbone into so many games is that the club wants to see how he performs when he’s feeling a little more fatigued than he would at a training camp and to see how well he’s picking up the Canucks’ systems and concepts.