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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs Coyotes

Alex Edler returns to the lineup tonight as the Canucks look to move their preseason record to 4-1-0 with a win over the Arizona Coyotes. Yeah, it sounds a little odd, this new name. But rest assured, they're still the same ol' Coyotes that you know and er... well... that you know.

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Time Monday, 6:00 PM
TV Sportsnet One
Season Series (2013/14)
Last Meeting
1-0 Coyotes Mar 4/14
The Enemy Five For Howling Scoring Leaders Shinkaruk 2-2-4
Hodgeman 4-1-5

They're getting closer and closer to the lineup that they'll ice on opening night against the Calgary Flames, but there's still a few more decisions for Willie Desjardins, Jim Benning & the Canucks to make, and the matchup tonight against the Phoe Arizona Coyotes will go a long way to helping them them make their choices. They had another handful of players make their way to Utica, and shockingly enough one of them was Jakob Markstrom. While the Canucks had at one point assured everyone that they'd be rolling with 3 goalies, the play of the 3 rookies (Bo Horvat, Hunter Shinkaruk and Nicklas Jensen) has necessitated a shuffling of the roster to make room for one or more of the youngsters, and with Brad Richardson suffering what appears to be a back injury, it's possible we could see all three of them on opening night.

The other good (I think it's good, unless of course he starts playing like he did last year, in which case I will edit this to say otherwise) news is that Alex Edler is back tonight, chipped chiclets and all. He took a puck to the face the other night against San Jose, leaving just 5 minutes into the game. He's head injury-free, and ready to roll tonight.

Your Canucks lineup for tonight looks like this:





And on D we've got (pairings may differ)




Not the strongest back line, but that's 4 lines that so far look like they could be a pretty decent lineup depending on the opponent. You'll note there's no Zack Kassian, as he's also a little banged up, and the healthy scratches are Bieksa, Hamhuis, Hansen and Sestito. The goaltending matchup appears to be Ryan Miller against Mike Smith, and the Coyotes will have Shane Doan, Antoinne Vermette and 1st rounder Max Domi, among others in the lineup.

The Coyotes lost a big chunk of their offence in the off-season as they parted with ways with Radim Vrbata, as well as Mike Ribiero, but they're hoping that Edmonton Oilers escapee Sam Gagner can fill that void. On D they still look a little iffy after you get past Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and they'll likely rely heavily on Mike Smith once again this season, with journeyman Devan Dubnyk in the backup role.


Not everything that's come out of Arizona is batshit crazy and racist, as the state has a proud metal tradition (it should be noted Dave Mustaine was fine before he moved there). Flotsam & Jetsam, Sacred Reich, Atrophy and Max Cavalera projects Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy all hail from there, among others. Today we'll look at Tempe, AZ's (though they've since moved to Philadelphia) sci-fi tech-thrashers VEKTOR. Bringing a serious progressive/technical approach to their old-school speed metal vibe (right down to the VOIVOD homage logo) they've been gaining attention in the underground since their first release 'Black Future' in 2009 after previously putting out 3 demos. Their most recent disc is 2011's 'Outer Isolation', and they just played a show in Seattle Friday night.