The math doesn’t look pretty for the Vancouver Canucks, but Bruce Boudreau has a number of points in mind that he wants his club to reach before it’s all said and done.
After dropping game one of their mini two-game back-to-back series with the St. Louis Blues to close out an otherwise successful Central Division road trip, the Canucks are back at home to take on the Blues once again.

Lineup

The Canucks’ lineup appears to remain unchanged.
  • Tucker Poolman skated with the main group today but isn’t expected to play tonight. He appeared to have a tinted visor — something commonly seen with players who have suffered from concussions or concussion-like symptoms.
  • Jason Dickinson made his return to skating with the main group, but skated as an extra forward. Bruce Boudreau said he hopes — with an extended layoff between games — that Poolman, Dickinson, and Burroughs are all ready to return for the Canucks’ next game against Vegas on April 3rd.
  • Boudreau added that Matt Highmore is out week-to-week, and Nils Höglander is out “long-term” — potentially the rest of the season.
  • Thatcher Demko starts in goal for the Canucks, and the Blues appear to have elected to start Ville Husso once again, as he was the first goalie off the ice at the Blues’ morning skate from Rogers Arena.

What was said/ Bruce is thinking of a number

There was a moment in the Canucks’ Monday night loss to the Blues where Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson broke in on a 2-on-1, and Horvat elected to shoot instead of pass. He didn’t score, and said he felt bad for not passing to Pettersson.
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“I looked at him and I was like, ‘Petey, you’ve got to tell me right now — were you open?’
And he’s like, ‘no, don’t worry about it.’
“I would have felt terrible but it was just kind of an instinct thing where I felt like there were guys around me and I wanted to get it off quick. But yeah, I felt bad afterwards, praying to God he wasn’t wide open. He said he wasn’t so I was happy with that.”
Bruce Boudreau loves to scoreboard watch, but said even though the math isn’t in his club’s favour, they’re ready to make one last push to get themselves into the playoffs.
“We all scoreboard watch cause it’s fun,” said Boudreau. “But to me, you just have to win your games and not have to worry about anything else. If you win 12 of 14, or 11 out of 14, you’re going to be in so let’s just focus on winning today’s game. I don’t care what anybody else does. And then you focus on the next game. If we win, I don’t care what anybody else does.
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“I can’t here, sit here and say, ‘oh, geez, Dallas came back last night.’ Let’s just go out and do our own bidding, and see if we can get to a certain number of points. If we get to that number of points and we’re not in, well so be it, but if we do get to the number that we think it is, normally gonna get into the playoffs, and that’s what our goal. 14 games left — that’s still our goal.”
Boudreau declined to clarify what number of points he wanted to reach, but did say it was “somewhere in the middle of 90 and 100”.
“Every year they say ‘well, it’s not going to take that many or it’s going to take more,’ but in the end, it usually takes the same middle number in the 90s to get there.”
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When told that the number most models are predicting is 97 points, Boudreau said the following:
“Really good right? Some teams are gonna lose though, I don’t know if it’ll be that high, but that would be one of the higher ones in considering the Pacific Division — nobody thinks it’s any good. That would be a pretty high mark to get there to make the playoffs, and I think the Pacific Division is good.”
Our guess? Boudreau would like to see his club reach 95 points on the season.
Puck drop between the Blues and Canucks is at 7 PM tonight as the Canucks hang on by a thread to their playoff hopes.