The Vancouver Canucks already had their Vegas flu game on this road trip — except it happened in Colorado on Thursday night.
After an “embarrassing” (as captain Bo Horvat put it) shellacking at the hands of the Avalanche, the Canucks are in Vegas tonight to take on the Golden Knights which, simply put, needs to be a bounce-back game for the club.
At morning skate today, the Canucks made big changes to their lineup.
- The biggest change is that J.T. Miller has been moved to the centre position. He’s in Bo Horvat’s typical spot, on a line between Tanner Pearson and Nils Höglander.
- Vasily Podkolzin and Conor Garland have been two of the Canucks’ best forwards recently, and have certainly been held back by Jason Dickinson, who hasn’t looked comfortable just yet. Bo Horvat is now the centre between the two forwards, and that line should absolutely dominate at 5-on-5 tonight if all three players continue to play the way they have been recently.
- Dickinson has been moved to the wing, and will play with the struggling Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser.
- It appears as though Alex Chiasson will slot back into the lineup, and Justin Dowling will be a healthy scratch.
- With Tucker Poolman out for the next two games thanks to a suspension, the defence corps looks awfully barren. Madison Bowey is set to make his Vancouver Canucks debut tonight.
- Thatcher Demko will start in goal for the Canucks.
What was said
Travis Green says his group is excited to play tonight.
“Anytime you have a game like that, you’re antsy, you’re hungry to get back into another game,” said Green. “As a player, if you don’t play well, you don’t sleep well at night. And if your team doesn’t win, it makes it even worse. So, looking for a response out of our group tonight. It’s gonna be a good atmosphere in here — playoff-like atmosphere — it’s a good hockey team we’re playing. When you come into Vegas, you know you’ve got to be ready to play.”
J.T. Miller described the opportunity ahead for the Canucks as the “perfect” opportunity for them to bounce back.
“It’s simple things, like competing, skating, winning your puck battles — offensively, the ice should open then,” said Miller. “We need to be more competitive in this game. I think it’s a perfect opportunity against a team like this in a building like this. It’s going to be a fun game and we’re excited to get back out there. The past is in the past, and we’ve played a lot of good hockey games up to this point. We need to get back to playing like that. It’s going to be a fun game.”
Puck drop is at 7 PM Pacific from T-Mobile Arena in Vegas.