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GAME DAY: Canucks vs Blue Jackets

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Every game is important right now. Every single point, crucial as the Canucks continue their march to the playoffs. They must not look past their opponent tonight towards Saturday and the biggest game of the season to date.

Rich Lam/Getty Images
Time 7:00 PM PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
H2H Last 5
1-0 Canucks
Last Meeting
5-0 Canucks Nov 28/14
The Enemy The Cannon coring Leaders H. Sedin: 15-45-60
Foligno 25-37-62

Blue Jackets
40-25-4 SEASON RECORD 31-35-4
84 Points 66
2nd Division Position 7th
Won 2
Streak Won 1
2.80 (11)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.53 (24)
2.65 (19)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
3.13 (25)
17.2 (20) Power Play % 21.5 (6)
86.1 (3) Penalty Kill % 78.8 (24)
47.3 (28) Faceoff Win % 48.9 (20)
11.2 PIM / GP 12.2
48.9 (22) Corsi For % 47.4 (25)
100.5 (13) PDO 99.3 (23)

You really have to feel for the Columbus Blue Jackets. All the work that's gone into rebuilding this team, moving on the post- Rick Nash era, and it all gets unraveled this season by injuries. A lot of injuries. The Canucks would be where Columbus is right now if they'd suffered the injuries the BJ's have. But that's no reason for the Canucks not to lay another beat down like their last meeting.

The Jackets are coming off a bit of a shootout where they traded a few goals with the Oilers before finally putting them away 4-3 in the shootout. Curtis McElhinney picked up the win last night, meaning we'll see Sergei Bobrovsky in goal for Columbus. This would be a great time to give Jacob Markstrom another opportunity in goal after his last very forgettable outing, but something tells me we'll see Eddie Lack once again.

The playoffs for the Canucks aren't guaranteed yet, and they'll need to at least play as well against Western teams as they have all season to ensure they don't miss out. They're not only in control of their own destiny, but can have a say in who they play with two massive games against the Kings, one of which is Saturday afternoon. A win tonight followed by a regulation win over the Kings can not only push the Canucks closer to locking down their ticket post-season, but throw a wrench in the late-season surge by the Kings, who added their 14th loser point of the season as a sign of their superiority.

We'll have the Canucks' starters, including who's in goal and any other related news throughout the day...


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- 1 Drink: Every faceoff the Canucks win tonight

- 1 Drink: For every minute of time the Sportsnet talking heads devote to talking about LA

- 2 drinks for the healthy scratch, which as Botchford wrote about, ain't a bad problem to have

- 2 drinks for any reference to Ryan Kesler helping the Canucks last night. If he wanted to help, he would have scored in regulation. Typical selfish Kesler.

- 3 drinks for a phrase similar to 'The Canucks need to re-sign Luca Sbisa'

- and finally, 3 drinks if we see a fight as surprising as Dan Hamhuis and Jakub Voracek.