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Photo Credit: © Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Scenes from morning skate: Canucks prepare for season opener in Edmonton without Brock Boeser

It’s been far too long.

After what can only be described as a complete write-off of a season, the Vancouver Canucks will play a regular season game with a clean slate and a much-improved roster.

The Canucks are in Edmonton tonight to play the Oilers. Puck drop is at 7 PM Pacific from Rogers Place.

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These two teams are very familiar with each other, as the two sides played their final two preseason games against each other, with Edmonton taking both games.

This is the third consecutive season that the Oilers open their season with a game against the Canucks, so without further ado, let’s do this!

Line rushes

  • Alex Chiasson is going to be asked to play a big role for the Canucks until Brock Boeser returns. Elias Pettersson inadvertently confirmed that Boeser won’t be in the lineup tonight. Boeser skated at both Monday and Tuesday’s practice sessions, although he wasn’t with the main group. He’s close, but won’t play tonight.
  • Jack Rathbone and Kyle Burroughs will form the Canucks’ third pairing, as opposed to the Brad Hunt-Luke Schenn pairing we saw in recent days.
  • It appears that Nils Höglander could line up away from Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson for the first time in a while.
  • J.T. Miller, who played every preseason game at centre, is going to start the season on Pettersson’s wing. The acquisition of Juho Lammikko makes it possible for Miller to move back to the wing and try to reignite the fire that he found in 2019-20 playing alongside Pettersson and Boeser.

What was said

Alex Chiasson visits his old team again tonight. The newly-signed Canucks forward who won a job with the Canucks and on PP1 spent the last three seasons with the Oilers.

“It was a little weird here in the preseason, a little awkward,” said Chiasson. “We made unbelievable friendships. That group gave me an opportunity to ask some of my best years in my career, I’m super grateful for that.”

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Oliver Ekman-Larsson is going to be asked to play some big minutes for the Canucks this season. It will be interesting to see if the Canucks elect to match up the Quinn Hughes-Tucker Poolman pairing against Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl rather than the OEL-Tyler Myers pairing.

“It’s a good hockey club,” said Erkman-Larsson. “A lot of high skill and a couple of superstars in that lineup so it’s gonna be a good test for us right away. We’re up to the challenge and I know if we play our game and come out like we want to come out with I think it’s gonna, it’s gonna be a good game for us.”

Elias Pettersson, understandably so, cannot wait to get back into regular season action. He suffered a frustrating wrist injury and hasn’t appeared in a regular season game for the Canucks in roughly seven months.

“Last year wasn’t close to where we want to be. This year, we just want to get back as a winning team. I like our team and like our chances, it’s a good feeling in the group coming into the season, so hopefully we can get a good start.”

Travis Green confirmed Thatcher Demko will be starting tonight.

Puck drop is at 7 PM from Rogers Place in Edmonton.

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