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GAME THREAD: Canucks vs Winnipeg

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Two teams with some fairly familiar issues meet tonight, one coming off a disappointing shootout loss, the other riding high following a thrashing of the Oilers.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s start off by getting a few things out in the open, shall we? First up, the Canucks fan base. Look, we get it. You’re not happy, and it’s showing up by a bunch of you saying ‘no thank you’ to going to pay the ridunkulous prices to see a game. Thing is, sometimes you need to bite the bullet, even when you’re mad. So when you get one of those special nights, where a marquee player is in town, or one of the Original 6 teams, you show up. Or when a player who so many of you claim is near and dear to your heart makes his first visit back after quite literally taking one for the team. To not have the house full for the return of Alexandre Burrows shows what a giant pile of trash this fan base can be sometimes. He deserved better.

Secondly, there’s already a faction of people who think that being frustrated about Brock Boeser sitting in the press box to start the season is somehow a sign we’re trying to get Travis Green fired or some such nonsense. If you think this way, please stop. It’s really, really, REALLY sad to see you lashing out for having the audacity to speak up against the coaching and/or management decisions of this team. It’s as though you’re not familiar with the whole sports fandom thing. They do stuff, and we as fans, dissect it 8000 ways til Tuesday. It’s the whole thing. Maybe cheering and not being critical is your thing, though. You do you. We will continue to do us.

Which brings us to tonight’s match, and it will have young Boeser in the lineup, thankfully. Alexander Burmistrov is the odd-man out tonight, and that’s likely a good thing, as it should hopefully provide him with a little motivation to make more of his next opportunity.

One thing to watch tonight is how the Canucks handle the physicality tonight. In their first two games, this wasn’t an issue, but the Jets are a big and physical team. If you recall back to the games between these teams last season, the Jets made the Canucks look soft (well, because they were), and while the Jets will be without their biggest Dman, they’re still likely to try and pound the Canucks every chance they get. That means we need to see guys like Erik Gudbranson step up and be far more physical than we’ve seen thus far.

The Jets looked good against the Oilers a couple nights ago, garnering their first win of the season, and getting a solid performance from Connor Hellebuyck in goal. With the Jets goaltending situation looking pretty shaky to start the season (both Hellebuyck and Steve Mason lost their starts), coach Paul Maurice is rewarding the youngster with a chance to get on a roll.

The Jets also got a big night from the line of Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Schiefele and Blake Wheeler. Ehlers had the natural hat-trick, while the line combined for 10 points against the Oilers.

From nhl.com, here’s the projected lineups for tonight’s contest:

Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Mathieu Perreault -- Bryan Little -- Patrik Laine

Shawn Matthias -- Adam Lowry -- Nic Petan

Brandon Tanev -- Andrew Copp -- Marko Dano

Josh Morrissey -- Jacob Trouba

Toby Enstrom -- Tucker Poolman

Dmitry Kulikov -- Tyler Myers

Connor Hellebuyck

Steve Mason

Scratched: Ben Chiarot, Joel Armia

Injured: Dustin Byfuglien (lower body), Matt Hendricks (foot)

Canucks projected lineup

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Brock Boeser

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Thomas Vanek

Loui Eriksson -- Sam Gagner -- Jake Virtanen

Markus Granlund -- Brandon Sutter -- Derek Dorsett

Alexander Edler -- Christopher Tanev

Michael Del Zotto -- Erik Gudbranson

Ben Hutton -- Troy Stecher

Jacob Markstrom

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Alexander Burmistrov, Alex Biega, Derrick Pouliot

Injured: None

Other things to keep an eye on tonight:

  • With an assist tonight, Henrik Sedin will pass Mats Sundin for the 2nd most all-time by a Swedish born player.
  • The Jets have won 6 of their last 7 against the Canucks
  • TSN 1040 had a good update on prospects Elias Pettersson and Jonathan Dahlen from Mike Zanier, who does colour commentary on Swedish League broadcasts

That should get you set for tonight’s contest. Enjoy the game, folks!