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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs Philadelphia- Feb 18/17

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Let's just pretend for a moment that the Canucks could actually snag that wild card spot and that it would be a good thing: they still made it harder on themselves by once again trying to ride out a lead for a long stretch of a game. Meanwhile, in the reality-based world the Canucks play host to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks vs. Philadelphia Flyers

7:00 PM PT - Rogers Arena- Vancouver, BC

TV: SN360 - Radio: TSN 1040

A fluke (though likely on purpose) goal, then shutdown mode for the rest of the game. What could go wrong? Well, blowing the shutout with 6 seconds left, and giving a point to the team you're chasing, but Willie's got this, right? I don't want to take anything away from Chris Tanev, who's becoming something of an OT legend, but god dammit that was frustrating whether you are a draftist or not. The same old problems. The same old mistakes. The same using players who can't help the team at the cost of not using the ones who most likely can. And here we are, still dangling close to that line, though the odds are still so heavily against them. Even if they win tonight, do you really believe all the teams in that clusterfuck at the bottom of the West are going to lose, and the Canucks will still be 2 points out by the time they play San Jose on Saturday?

Canucks
CATEGORY
Flyers
28-27-6 SEASON RECORD 27-24-7
58 Points 61
6th Division Position 6th
Won 1 Streak Lost 2
2.31 (28)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.52 (23)
2.83 (20)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.98 (26)
14.8 (28) Power Play % 20.6 (11)
79.1 (24) Penalty Kill % 80.9 (18)
51.6 (7) Faceoff Win % 51.4 (8)
8.2 (24)
Shooting % 8.0 (26)
48.6 (23)
Corsi For % 52.4 (3)
99.1 (21)
PDO 97.5 (29)

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

THE OPPOSITION

The Flyers Western Canadian road swing is not going so well, having lost both games in Alberta. You have to think that they're going to send a thank you card to Willie D for setting this one up for them to head back with 1 win of the 3 games, with the news the Canucks are going to start Ryan Miller again, despite playing last night and facing 36 shots.

They are currently missing Travis Konechny, and will be without Jordan Weal tonight., and we will likely see Steve Mason in goal. You may remember that Mason was pulled in the last meeting, and Michal Neuvirth came in to get the victory.

THE CANUCKS

These teams met back in January, and this may come as a shock, but the Canucks blew a lead heading into the 3rd period before losing in a shootout. The game featured 2 goals from Markus Granlund, a PPG from Daniel Sedin and 2 assists from Jayson Megna. The interesting thing about that, is that Megna hasn't set up a goal since. So why exactly is a guy who can't score, and can't set up goals getting first line PP time and decent minutes? Good question. Only Willie truly knows the answer to that one. Whatever it is, it's not working, and it's also unbelievable that a guy like Jannik Hansen can't get that kind of PP time on a team desperate to make the post season.

As far as Miller starting tonight, I just want to throw my hands up. I fully expect him to get injured, and thus take away any hope of him being traded at the deadline. Miller plays better with rest. Markstrom isn't playing enough, and with the NHLPA mandated week off starting after this game, why not rest Miller and give Markstrom another opportunity to show he's ready to be the number one if the Canucks are so inclined? Or have they already decided on that, what with talk of signing Miller for another year? I get the whole hot hand thing, I just feel like it could backfire. And as you can see, I am not the only one...


Jack Skille is out for tonight's game after leaving in the 3rd with a groin injury. I fully expected the Canucks to dress Alex Biega as a forward again, but lo and behold Reid Boucher is back into the lineup tonight. Boucher's been doing decently in limited minutes, generating shots at a pace higher than most of the team.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Excited to check this one, Germany's PYOGENESIS have a new one coming out at the end of this week, here's the first track off A Kingdom To Disappear, called I Have Seen My Soul.