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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks @ Philadelphia- Jan 12/17

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Did they deserve to win Tuesday night in Nashville? Heck, no. The problem is they should have, and it's the flat out embarrassing power play that sunk them. Again. Willie Desjardins really hasn't learned anything since the playoff loss to Calgary, has he?

Kate Frese / SB Nation

Vancouver Canucks vs. Philadelphia Flyers

4:00 PM PT - Wells Fargo Center- Philadelphia, PA

TV: SNP - Radio: TSN 1040

This week, Willie Desjardins and Jim Benning both spoke at length to TSN 1040 about a number of topics, and it's not a surprise that eyebrows were raised at a lot of what was said.

Here's Benning's interview. Things of note: He says he's spoken to Anton Rodin and his agent, and that Rodin will get a chance (this is worrisome, because we've heard such things before) and a lot of talk about Gudbranson (intangibles...) and he really seems like he wants to re-sign him...


And here's Willie explaining what happened and why on Saturday


Now, let's get back to Tuesday night and Nashville. Do you think Willie's confidence in the PP is somewhat off the mark? When the PxP guy is saying the same things Tony Gallagher and Ray Ferraro are, you know there's a problem. And they're right: this PP, especially the 1st unit is predictable. It's like, Big Bang Theory predictable. You know exactly what's gonna happen. And you find yourself asking questions. Questions like 'Why can't the Canucks try and use Anton Rodin, who led the Swedish league in scoring, as a PP specialist?', or 'Why is Brandon Sutter getting so much more time on the PP than Bo Horvat or Sven Baertschi?'. And most of all 'Why doesn't he change something when it clearly hasn't worked all season long?'.




So why is Willie unwilling (ugh, sorry...) to make changes? Why not try putting Unit 2 out first? Giving Edler a bit more time? Tryamkin and his booming slapshot (which he really needs to unload more)? Hell, split the Sedins up. DO SOMETHING, MAN! If they're serious about this whole 'we think we can make the playoffs' thing, start acting like it, because the status quo simply isn't going to get them there.

Canucks
CATEGORY
Flyers
20-19-4 SEASON RECORD 21-16-6
44 Points 48
6th Division Position 5th
OT 1 Streak Lost 1
2.37 (25)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.79 (10)
2.84 (19)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
3.00 (26)
13.7 (27) Power Play % 21.9 (9)
80.7 (20) Penalty Kill % 81.1 (18)
52.3 (5) Faceoff Win % 51.4 (7)
8.5 (22)
Shooting % 8.7 (17)
48.4 (23)
Corsi For % 52.5 (3)
99.3 (20)
PDO 98.2 (27)

Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com

THE OPPOSITION

Much like the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Flyers must be looking at the arrival of the Canucks as a godsend. Having won just 2 of their last 10 games, a visit from one of the league's worst road teams could be the cure for what ails them. And while they haven't been good of late, they're one of the NHL's best on home ice, and that spells trouble for the Canucks, as the Flyers are 8-1-1 in their last ten on Wells Fargo Center ice.

The Flyers had a very hot streak this season, winning 10 straight, but since the streak was snapped they're 2-6-3, and it won't be a shock if it goes to extra time. The Flyers and Canucks have combined for 27 games decided in extra time so far this season, and are tied for the 2nd most shootout wins with 4 a piece.

Steve Mason will get the start for the Flyers tonight, and they'll be without Radko Gudas, who is a healthy scratch tonight. Mason shut the Canucks out in their last visit to Philly in a 2-0 win last season. The Flyers have a number of offensive weapons to be wary of, from Jakub Voracek, who leads the team in scoring, to Claude Giroux, Shayne Gostisbehere and All Star Game bound Wayne Simmonds.

THE CANUCKS

With Ben Hutton out, the Canucks don't have a single defenceman with more than one goal. How bad is that? They have a total of 9 from the back end this season, just 4 more than the number Philadelphia has from Mark Streit. Much like the PP, they need to get more contributions from the D if they want any chance of succeeding. Fortunately for the Canucks, Streit is still on the IR, and won't be in tonight.

Ryan Miller will get the nod again for Vancouver, and will need to put in another show-stopper to give this team a chance to win. No word yet on any lineup changes for the Canucks, but we will bring them to you as soon as they're announced. This is a big game for Troy Stecher, as he will face his former UND coach Dave Hakstol for the first time.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

A visit to Pennsylvania means I get to shout out to one of the best 1 and done bands I've ever come across: MANTIC RITUAL. I got a chance to see them live (that was how I first heard them) and was blown away by their frantic live performance. Their debut album would be their last, and while the band apparently still exists in some form, there's not been anything of note from them. I would love to see them get back to it, because Executioner needs a follow up album.

And before anyone gets all bent outta shape because MR's from Pittsburgh, here's some genuine Philly metal from Rumplestiltskin Grinder with an appropriate one: Orange and Black Attack