The Canucks’ eastern road trip makes its second stop in Ohio today, with a Black Friday matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets beginning at 4 PM Pacific.
But in Vancouver, the only American long weekend sale that matters to Canucks fans is the rumored firesale within the team’s hockey ops department.
The Canucks didn’t have a morning skate at Nationwide Arena today, instead opting to practice on US Thanksgiving yesterday. And like any large family gathering with high expectations and contentious views, things got messy.
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Nothing is going right for the Canucks these days, and there might not be anyone more concerned about it than the coach.
For Travis Green, the volume on his job security is only getting louder and louder. Rumours are swirling that management is already searching for potential replacements, but until told otherwise Green will be behind the Canucks bench trying to win hockey games.
Until a watershed moment arrives, all the Canucks players and staff can do is drown out the noise and focus on the tasks at hand.
At the hardest points in your hockey season, sometimes a good attitude can make all the difference. When the Canucks were playing their best hockey of the Jim Benning era during the 2020 playoff bubble, one aspect that stood out was how much the Canucks seemed to be enjoying the experience.
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This year, finding a happy face in the locker room has been hard to do, and understandably so. But if a team can find a way to enjoy the simpler parts of playing sports again, like they seemed to after the outburst in yesterday’s practice, maybe that mentality will eventually start translating into wins again.
Just ask the Blue Jackets.
Last season was the basement season for Columbus, as they finished dead last in the Central Division, John Tortorella left his role as head coach and a retool began with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Seth Jones being shown the door. This year, the Jackets currently sit fourth in the Metropolitan Division having won seven of their last ten.
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Thatcher Demko will likely get the nod in goal again tonight, going up against Elvis Merzlikins for the Jackets, who’s coming off a 36 save shutout performance against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.
Based on yesterday’s skate only one lineup change will be made by Travis Green, with Justin Dowling skating alongside Elias Pettersson and Vasily Podkolzin, while Juho Lammikko is the odd forward out.