Canucks pregame: Luke Schenn returns to Rogers Arena with his new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Faber9 months ago
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With the trade deadline behind us, it’s full steam ahead without rampant rumours around trades.
It’s always a busy night at Rogers Arena when the Toronto Maple Leafs are in town and the 4:00 pm game should have at least one fun moment as the fans will have an opportunity to show their love for Luke Schenn — who was traded for a 2023 third-round pick on Tuesday.
Schenn played 139 games over three seasons with the Vancouver Canucks and was a physical force on the ice while being one of the best people to talk to in the locker room.
It will surely be a good response from Canucks fans when they decide to honour Schenn for his time with the Canucks organization. He was a player who gave a full effort on a nightly basis and was great for keeping that locker room together as a team.
Aside from Schenn, there are other storylines for both the Canucks and Leafs. The Canucks are now in a mode where winning just simply does not matter.
The best-case scenario for the Canucks is that they fall in the standings while simultaneously rising their chances of winning the draft lottery.
And the good news is that the Columbus Blue Jackets are 5-3-2 over their last 10 games, the Chicago Blackhawks are 5-5-0 over their last 10 games, and the Canucks are now just seven points out of last place in the league — three points away from fourth last.
The Canucks have some big games for the tank as the season goes on, so if you want to see the Canucks have the best chance of being able to draft hometown kid Connor Bedard, a loss tonight against the Leafs should be the desired outcome. But if you want to see the Canucks beat the Leafs on a Saturday night under the 4:00 pm game window, that is great too! I’m not going to tell you how to be a fan. And we all love to see Toronto lose.
There’s not much to get to in terms of ‘what we saw’ or ‘what was said’ today because the team didn’t have a morning skate and they aren’t doing pregame media until 1:50 pm.
Let’s try our best here though.
What we saw
With a big Saturday night game on the docket, we are expecting to see Thatcher Demko between the pipes. If this is the case, it will mean that Demko will have gotten three starts in a row for the Canucks and this could easily be looked at as a positive if you aren’t the commander of Team Tank. Though he took a loss on Thursday night, Demko made 34 saves on 36 shots and looked like he was back into a typical Demko groove that we have grown accustomed to over the past couple of years.
What we won’t see on Saturday evening is the Canucks’ newest acquisition, Filip Hronek.
There is no timeline for Hronek’s return from his upper-body injury. Which came on February 28th.
Hronek did confirm that he will play at some point this season and seems to be a pretty tough cookie. As he took this hit earlier in the season and didn’t even miss the next game.
We are surely going to see a boost to the Canucks’ defence corps over the next season and a half with Hronek in the lineup. But after that, he requires a new contract and he is certainly playing above his $4,400,000 cap hit that he currently has.
What was said
As we mentioned earlier, pregame media was too late for this article, so, let’s look at what was said by Patrik Allvin about the roster.
It was a bunch of paper transactions to give Vasily Podkolzin, Christian Wolanin, and Noah Juulsen a chance to play in the AHL playoffs. Aatu Räty was more than a paper transaction, as he was assigned to Abbotsford and swapped out for Phil Di Giuseppe.
We are expecting to see Di Giuseppe hop right back into the lineup as he has been a player that head coach Rick Tocchet has spoken highly of this season. Di Giuseppe needs to keep playing with that hunger that has given him success so far this season.
We’ve touched on it a few times but we will once again remind you that tonight’s game is a 4:00 pm start. Those whiners from Toronto can’t stay up late, and for some reason, the Canucks have to adjust to accommodate the Leafs, because this is the NHL.
It’s good news for me though, as the Abbotsford Canucks are in action at 7:00 pm on Saturday night. That will be fun to follow after the Canucks battle the Leafs.
If you’re heading down to the game, don’t be surprised to see Leprauchan and Dinosaur costumes around Rogers Arena. BC Place is home to the Rugby Sevens tournament and they love to wear fun costumes as they watch an extremely fast and fun sport across the street from The Rog.
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