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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs Detroit- Feb 28/17

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Life after Burrows begins for the Canucks with a game against a team that finds themselves in a similar situation. The Detroit Red Wings have sunk to the basement in the East, with no signs they'll be crawling out any time soon.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Detroit Red Wings

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

TV: SNP - Radio: TSN 1040

We knew it could happen, but yet it still felt like a gut punch when it happened. After 12 years,  a number of memorable goals, over 800 games and every single one of them where he played his damn heart out, Alexandre Burrows has left the Canucks. In return, they got Jonathan Dahlen from the Ottawa Senators, in a trade that certainly looks like it turned out rather well for the Canucks. Time will tell if Dahlen can develop into the player they think he can be, but the fact that Jim Benning was able to move Burrows for a genuine prospect is a victory unto itself. That's not to diminish what the Sens get with Burr, though their fans will need to stop pouting first before they realize it. He may not have everything he had at his peak, but he's still a solid two-way player who brings them a ton of leadership. Stop believing those with an axe to grind. I will believe the Sedins and a guy like Bob McKenzie over those who are still battling the 2011 Canucks.

Since nhl.com is all wonky this morning, I decided to abandon the stats table for today.

THE OPPOSITION

There was a time when games between these teams meant something. In the heyday of the West Coast Express, the Detroit Red Wings were one of the foes they had to battle against, and there were some memorable games between these teams. And just like the Canucks are a shell of the team that nearly won it all in 2011, the Wings are more like the teams from the 70s and 80s, the pre-Yzerman Red Wings, than the ones who won a some Stanley Cups.

Both of these teams are in sell mode, and should be interesting to watch tomorrow morning. There's some interest in Detroit's Mike Green, and with news that they have sent Brendan Smith to the Rangers for a 3rd round pick in 2017 and 2nd round pick in 2018, they could look a lot different by game time let alone tomorrow afternoon. Tomas Vanek is also rumored to be on the move as the Wings try and move towards something that resembles a reboot.

THE CANUCKS

With Burrows gone, a handful of players out with the mumps and Jacob Markstrom injured, it's certainly going to be a different looking Canucks team tonight, but will it hamper Jim Benning from making deals for Jannik Hansen and Ryan Miller? There are rumblings about San Jose and Calgary (yes, Calgary) being interested in Miller. I don't get the feeling that they'll move Miller unless Markstrom's injury isn't very serious, but the fact that they're not trying to send out signals he isn't available is encouraging for those who believe moving out Miller is one of the keys to getting an honest-to-dog rebuild underway in Vancouver.

Of course, because the Canucks never seem to do what makes sense, Ryan Miller will be starting in goal tonight. They've recalled Richard Bachman and Borna Rendulic from Utica for tonight, and honestly if you want to be able to send Miller somewhere, why would you start him. Bachman is a competent backup, has NHL experience and it's a mean-nothing game.


Ben Hutton and Markus Granlund are in tonight, but Michael Chaput definitely has the mumps and will be out again tonight.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Another ripper from the Texas thrash beasts POWER TRIP for ya today. They're gonna be at the Astoria in Vancouver on April 1st, so if you dig this go check em out.