OPENING FACE/OFF

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Canucks in the last few days, mainly because of a player that shall not be named. Tonight, the confused Canucks take on the Toronto Maple Leafs: Canada’s team.
The Canucks haven’t won in Toronto since 2014 but they’ll get three opportunities this week to try and break the streak. They’ll have to figure out Auston Matthews and the 7-2-1 Leafs but hey, why not have ANOTHER challenge to deal with? Aside from the teams in Alberta and Quebec, the Canucks have done well against the North division. Looking for positives is where this journey begins.
Let’s Do This!™

WHERE CAN I FIND THIS GAME?

TV: SNP / RADIO: SN 650 / PUCK DROP: 4:00 PM

LINEUPS

Is Jake Virtanen in the lineup? How about Adam Gaudette? Any chance we see Loui Eriksson? The back end hasn’t been thrilling and that includes newbie Nate Schmidt.
The lineup is a mystery right now so hopefully Travis Green has a solution for this problem.
Thatcher Demko had himself a decent outing last game and it would say a lot if he started today.
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CANUCKS LINES COURTESY OF DAILYFACEOFF.COM:
LWCRWForwards

J.T. MILLER
Rating: 78.5#7 LW

BO HORVAT
Rating: 74.8#34 C

BROCK BOESER
Rating: 74.1#41 RW
FL1 Rating
Rating: 75.80#11 FL1

TANNER PEARSON
Rating: 73.7#38 LW

ELIAS PETTERSSON
Rating: 77.7#14 C
FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.71#5 FL2

ANTOINE ROUSSEL
Rating: 71.0#97 LW

BRANDON SUTTER
Rating: 70.1#131 C

ADAM GAUDETTE
Rating: 70.2#130 RW
FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.44#25 FL3

TYLER MOTTE
Rating: 68.8#144 LW

JAY BEAGLE
Rating: 68.4#163 C
FL4 Rating
Rating: 68.57#29 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGSDefense

QUINN HUGHES
Rating: 75.2#15 LD

JORDIE BENN
Rating: 70.9#101 RD
DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.04#28 DL1

NATE SCHMIDT
Rating: 75.5#18 LD

TYLER MYERS
Rating: 72.6#50 RD
DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.02#7 DL2

ALEXANDER EDLER
Rating: 74.3#26 LD
DL3 Rating
Rating: 74.31#3 DL3
The Leafs were off for four days and they’ll be ready to go. There will be no Joe Thornton but it’s ok, there are no fans to see the game live. Toronto brought out a sweet flat-screen during practice yesterday and they looked over game film from the Canucks/Senators series, AKA, Vancouver’s best self. Tough to beat that team, that’s for sure.
Frederik Andersen will likely start tonight.
LEAFS LINES COURTESY OF DAILYFACEOFF.COM:
LWCRWForwards

ZACH HYMAN
Rating: 74.6#33 LW

AUSTON MATTHEWS
Rating: 82.3#6 C

MITCH MARNER
Rating: 76.6#18 RW
FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.83#4 FL1

WILLIAM NYLANDER
Rating: 76.1#23 LW

JOHN TAVARES
Rating: 77.6#15 C

WAYNE SIMMONDS
Rating: 70.2#112 RW
FL2 Rating
Rating: 74.64#13 FL2

JIMMY VESEY
Rating: 70.6#107 LW

ALEXANDER KERFOOT
Rating: 70.8#113 C

ILYA MIKHEYEV
Rating: 74.0#42 RW
FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.83#16 FL3

PIERRE ENGVALL
Rating: 71.0#98 LW

TRAVIS BOYD
Rating: 70.4#124 C

JASON SPEZZA
Rating: 69.4#126 RW
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FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.27#22 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGSDefense

MORGAN RIELLY
Rating: 75.3#14 LD

T.J. BRODIE
Rating: 74.2#27 RD
DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.76#16 DL1

JAKE MUZZIN
Rating: 75.1#17 LD

JUSTIN HOLL
Rating: 72.0#61 RD
DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.56#13 DL2

TRAVIS DERMOTT
Rating: 71.7#83 LD

ZACH BOGOSIAN
Rating: 71.4#76 RD
DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.56#23 DL3

GAME NOTES, INTERESTING STATS, AND MATS SUNDIN

  • Not only is Quinn Hughes the best defenceman in Canada, he’s the best d-man in the league. His 14 points also beat out Cale Makar and the Leafs’ highest-scoring defender Morgan Rielly at seven points. All hail Quinn Hughes.
  • Despite this being a must-see game between the Leafs and Canucks, the lower bowl in Toronto will look identical to start the game as no fans show up until the first TV timeout. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
  • Mats Sundin absolutely tore it up as a Canuck. He had 28 points in 41 games in the regular season and exploded for 14 points on the PP. His shootout goal is the stuff of legends and even though he had a stint with the Leafs, he’ll always be remembered as a Canuck.
  • The Leafs are re-inventing the power play. They currently have a 43.3% success rate on the man-advantage and that should scare anyone that utters the phrase “power play”. Vancouver’s PK sits at 80.4%, not great. Everything points to the Leafs pumping the Canucks for a barrel-full of goals but maybe things look so bad that it goes the other way?
  • Would you believe J.T. Miller has points in four of his last five games? He has six points in that span which would suggest he actually has been playing well. Stats don’t lie. First rule of hockey club.

TWITTER TOLD YOU

Too much time on your hands?

MY 94 CENTS

I always firmly believe the Canucks will beat the Maple Leafs because Toronto should never have a good team and good always defeats evil. Since the Canucks lost Mats Sundin to retirement they haven’t been the same and I don’t blame them. Tough to lose a legend like that. I firmly believe something amazing will happen tonight and I think J.T. Miller bumps the slump and terrorizes the Leafs for at least a pair of goals.
This is the way.

THE FINAL WORD

Canada will unite in dislike for one another when East battles West. A tale of two towns, deserving of a hero, deserving of a champion. There will be a victor and regardless of the result, TSN/Rogers/CBC/Muchmusic will all have the highlights immediately after the game. So there’s that.
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