Fun fact: Did you know this is the second time that John Torchetti has replaced Mike Yeo as a coach? Yeah, I don't care much either.
It's not a great time for either team. Had the Canucks won on Saturday, today's game would be huge with obvious playoff implications. But now they're log-jammed with the Wild (losers of 8 straight) and Arizona (3-6-1 in their last time) in no man's land, each five points back from the wild card and increasingly poor play from all three is starting to cost jobs, rattle the faithful and will probably end with lost playoff revenue.
It's not in Vancouver's favor to get a Wild team on that putrid losing streak who should get an immediate boost with their new pit boss barking at them. It's also not in their favor they've stuck at 28th worst for goals for (2.31), 11th worst for goals against (2.71) and their 16.2 PP% is damn near last as well. They may be tied with the Wild, but they've better in all three categories and, last I checked, the point of this sport is putting the puck in the net.
Now that I've depressed you, let's look on the bright side. Dubnyk is 8-8 against Vancouver lifetime with a 2.56 GAA. Their defense is injury-riddled (sound familiar?) and has allowed 4+ goals in their last six (!). The Wild have shown to truly far apart in the second period during this streak, coughing up 14 goals in total during the middle frames. Lastly Torchetti may end up mixing lines or leaning on the wrong set of vets or rookies in which case the Canucks could take advantage.
Saturday was a big step back. Though they're running out of time, Vancouver isn't out of it yet. How they rebound tonight should be quite telling.
Human Guinea Pig Formations
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen
Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Jake Virtanen
Alex Burrows - Linden Vey - Emerson Etem
Derek Dorsett - Jared McCann - Radim Vrbata
Dan Hamhuis - Chris Tanev
Ben Hutton - Matt Bartkowski
Yannick Weber - Luca Sbisa
Zach "Devils Don't Miss Ya" Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker - Mikael Granlund - Nino Niederreiter
Thomas Vanek - Erik Haula - Justin Fontaine
Ryan Carter - Jarret "Cocaine is awesome" Stoll - Jason Pominville
Ryan "Weber made me relevant" Suter - Christian Folin
Marco Scandella - Mathew Dumba
Nate Prosser - Mike Reilly
If Horvat and Hamhuis are injured, Alex Freisen steps in. Lines yesterday suggest Emerson sits with Cracknell in. It's a mad, mad world.
1. After blowing it at home against the worst team in the league, what degree of rebound does Vancouver have against a considerably stronger (on paper) team?
2. If things go as expected - high shot count against with no much offensive muscle going the other way - can Markstrom carry this team to at least a point in the OT?
3. If Horvat sits out with an injury, what lines not named Sedin/Hansen can the 'stache roll out that are possibly going to be consistent offensive threats?
The jinx isn't working anymore. Regardless I still think they lose, especially if the Hammer/Horvat injuries are real and they lean on Cracknell for offensive. Yikes.
Call it 3-1 Wild and Markstrom is the best Canuck. Again.
GCG Go necessary evils go!