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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs Lightning

They probably should have lost that game in Edmonton last night. All signs pointed to it: pissed off, winless Oilers needing a break, a 5 day gap between their last game, and then losing a Dman during the game. But alas for the Oilers, his name is Ben Scrivens and not He Who Shall Not Be Named, and therefore his guaranteed wins do not mean a damn thing. Oh, and now the Canucks have to start playing real teams to boot...

Steve Alkok-USA TODAY Sports
Time Saturday 7:00 PM
Season Series (2014/15)
Last Meeting
4-3 Lightning Mar 17/14
The Enemy Raw Charge Scoring Leaders

H Sedin 2-4-6

Hedman 3-4-7

There was a point last night where I actually thought to myself "Sonofabitch... that Scrivens really is gonna pull this off", and he would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for that meddling goaltender at the other end of the ice. Ryan Miller was full value, the Sedin line continues it's rebirth and the Canucks shut down down the Oilers despite being down 2 D men at one point. Kudos to Dan Hamhuis for strapping the cage on and getting back in there after having his nose broken and turned inside out, from the looks of it, by Marc Arcobello's errant stick. Pretty sad that the officiating crew couldn't see what was pretty obvious: he didn't keep control of his stick and should have at least been given a 2 minute minor. That was hardly the worst call on the night though, with Nikita Nikitin and most notably Leon Draisaitl, whose barrel roll after taking a trip saw Zack Kassian not only get a 2 minute tripping penalty, but an admonishment from the ref:

Say Wut?

Anyway, though we all figured there was a possibility the Canucks could start 3-0 given the scheduling to start the year, the fact they actually did it is a pleasant surprise. There's a lot of hockey to be played, but should the Canucks somehow scrap out a win against a very good Tampa team tonight, that would give them their first 4-0-0 start since 1992. Crazy, right?

That is gonna be a hell of a lot tougher to do with Ryan Stanton out of the lineup, meaning we'll likely see Yannick Weber draw into the #6 spot on the back end. It should be noted that Luca Sbisa had a pretty decent game last night, with 2 hits, 2 blocks and a +1 on the night in just under 21 minutes of ice time. The Canucks faceoffs are going to need to be better, most notably Nick Bonino who was just 36% on draws last night. They'll also need to get some more scoring from that 2nd line, and the defence as well. The Sedins can't do it all, and against a team like Tampa who are much better defensively, the top line will certainly have a lot of attention paid to them. It looks like the Lightning will be starting Ben Bishop, while the Canucks should be giving Eddie Lack his first start, though it wouldn't be a surprise to see Miller go back to back after a solid, but pretty mellow night in terms of shots face from the Oilers.

Tonight's game marks the return of Jason Garrison to Vancouver. Garrison was dealt to Tampa this summer for a 2nd round pick as the Canucks cleared salary and shipped out the D man whose time in Vancouver can best be described as underwhelming. He did show flashes of the guy they thought they were getting when he was signed to a 6 year deal, but his consistency issues along with some injuries saw him never reach the levels he was expected to. While it's too early to tell if losing Garrison and his cannon of a shot from the point will come back to haunt them, the Canucks are certainly managing for the time being. They'll need not just to worry about Steven Stamkos, but Dman Victor Hedman. The Swede leads the team in scoring and is off to the kind of start that should see him garner Norris consideration.


No one got the score right last night, and we had 3 of you snag a point for the Radim Vrbata GWG: Jes Golbez, Kiwinuck and GreenBike14. Here's your updated list, and a reminder: Only predictions before gametime in THIS THREAD count. You snooze, you lose.

Jes Golbez 3
australiannuck 3
Nathaniel Perlow 3
canuck94 2
brianadams 2
Tengeresz 2
Vancouverguy 2
Seedvt 2
jluglue 2
Westy99 2
Kiwinuck 1
GreenBike14 1
Geordie Nuck 1
Twitchy2010 1
Brobidus 1
Passive Voice 1
pheenster 1
Bobby Canuck 1
Canuck89 1
AtillaS 1
spinwezel 1
Frank In Wa 1


Tampa is one of those places near and dear to the hearts of metalheads for being the home of death metal. The list of bands that have come out of the Tampa area reads like a who's who of the genre: Morbid Angel, Obituary, Deicide (and transplanted Buffalo, NY natives) Cannibal Corpse all call it home, along with Nocturnus, Iced Earth, Kamelot, Hate Eternal and others. Tampa is also the home of Morrisound Studios, which saw some of metal's biggest releases in the 80's and 90's recorded there: All of DEATH's albums, SEPULTURA's Beneath The Remains & Arise, NAPALM DEATH's Harmony Corruption, PESTILENCE's Testimony Of The Ancients, the list is staggering. Choosing one to play for you wasn't easy, that's for sure, so I decided on ATHEIST. Their jazz-tinged death never really got the kind of appreciation it was due back in the day. Complex time signatures and non-tradition song structures FTW!