When: 5 pm, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
Where to Watch: Sportsnet , NHL.com
Where to Listen: TSN 1040
SB Nation Game Hub
Opposition Blog: On the Forecheck
Before focusing on this game, I want to talk about Saturday’s game and the fake controversy arising from it. From the second Elliotte Friedman complimented the players, coaches and management in Vancouver for staying the course despite being under siege daily in the media, I knew Jason Botchford would have to respond. The very last thing he can have is people reflecting for a nanosecond on the validity of the media siege he leads almost single-handedly in this market.
So he led off his soap-box column questioning how on earth the Canucks could go in to the Saddledome dressing only five defensemen. After all, there was plenty of time to call someone up to Calgary before the game, since they knew both Chris Tanev and Ben Hutton were hurt. For Botch and his minions on Twitter, this serves as yet more proof this management group is bad, incompetent and foolish.
Canucks Army weighed in with a pretty fair, even-handed article, and even our own Kent Basky expressed frustration with Canucks management this morning in the game day preview.
To think Canucks management is incompetent, you have to believe they knew both Tanev and Hutton wouldn’t be able to play Saturday. Yet, Hutton took the pre-game skate. I had to check my Twitter timeline from Saturday, but it’s clear Hutton was only ruled out after the pre-game skate. Yes, it’s possible the Canucks could have called up a spare D in order to guard against having to start the game short. But to believe the fact they didn’t is the result of managerial incompetence, you have to believe they had no medical opinions about Hutton’s injury, or that they chose to ignore them. How likely is that really? Clearly everyone, including Hutton, thought he’d play Saturday. That he didn’t, and the Canucks were forced to go with 5 D, was bad luck not bad management.
Perhaps this episode, coming immediately after Friedman’s comments will give fans pause to reflect on the intellectual honesty of media members like Botchford and their siege campaign against the Canucks management group. I can at least hope.
The Vancouver Canucks visit a disappointing and injury riddled Nashville Predators team tonight. Both P.K. Subban and James Neal are out the the Predators’ lineup tonight. Meanwhile, it looks like Chris Tanev will be back for Vancouver. Ryan Miller starts. Loui Eriksson will play with the Sedins. Jayson Megna will slot in with Markus Granlund and Brandon Sutter.
Enjoy the game, everyone. Coconuts go!