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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks @ Edmonton Apr 9/17

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At last, the end is here. The final game of one of the worst seasons in team history. Hopefully the last with the current coach. Changes are coming, of that there is no doubt, but before that, there's still one more loss that needs to be achieved to ensure the Canucks' odds heading into the draft lottery are as good as they can be.

Dead man walkin'...
Dead man walkin'...
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks vs. Edmonton Oilers

5:00 PM PT - Rogers Place- Edmonton, AB

TV: SNP - Radio: TSN 1040

When the axe falls on Willie Desjardins, there will not be anyone surprised that it's happened. And you only need to look at the last 3 minutes of last night's game to know why. If Willie was truly trying to tie this game up, then perhaps getting Brock Boeser on the ice for some of that might have been a good idea. I am quite sure that Willie's a great guy. I am sure he'll land on his feet, whether it be another NHL job or he returns to the junior ranks. That being said, this absolutely must be his last game as the coach of the Vancouver Canucks. Whether or not the changes this team makes include looking upstairs (they extended the contracts of their scouting staff last week, so you have to think that's not coming) at the very least, there must be a new coach behind the bench.

THE OPPOSITION

I am sure there's some Oilers fans who would rather the team sit Connor McDavid today, and I don't blame them. Much like their goaltending situation, I wouldn't place a bet on the Oilers doing anything if something were to happen to McJeebus today.

The Oilers certainly seemed to be coasting last night, putting out just enough effort to win. With first place in the division on the line, the 100 point mark for McDavid still a goal and the chance to bring about the first Battle of Alberta playoff series in decades, this game is one that the Oilers want to win, and we might very well see them play a lot harder than they did last night.

THE CANUCKS

While they didn't embarrass themselves last night, they were never a threat to pull out a victory. There were encouraging moments, as Bo Horvat, snakebitten of late, looked determined all night, but that's hardly a shock. What was shocking was his throwdown with Darnell Nurse. He answered the bell after a tough hit that Nurse didn't like and acquitted himself well against a larger, tougher and more experienced opponent. That should be sending a clear message to whoever is coaching this team next season: This is the new leader of this team, and it needs to be acknowledged with a C on his jersey.

The Alaska Aces season (and franchise) ended last night, so Yan Pavel-Laplante has been recalled and could see game action today, and if he does, he would be the 14th rookie to play for the Canucks this season.

The Canucks are in control of their own destiny today. A regulation loss clinches 29th place, and the best odds they are capable of getting for the Draft Lottery. Worst case scenario? A win for the Canucks and a loss for the New Jersey Devils. That would vault the Canucks into 27th place, and make it pretty near impossible for them to get the first overall pick. There may not be an Auston Matthews or Connor McDavid available this year, but there are some solid potential 1st line picks that could very well be ready to play next season. And don't forget, your position is the same in each round, meaning you are always choosing from the best of what remains after each round. This team needs a huge draft, and getting the first or second pick can help ensure this.

So, this is the last Canucks game day preview of the season, and we'd like to thank you for hanging in there with us through one of the most trying seasons this team has ever faced. The future will get better, so be patient. Change is coming. We will be here throughout the playoffs for those of you that care, and will also be following the World Championships (especially with the likelihood of players like Bo Horvat, Ben Hutton and Christopher Tanev getting the call for Team Canada) as Canada heads to Paris to defend their title.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

One of the things I love about LICH KING is their  attitude. They are completely unafraid of pissing off the metal community by speaking truths and being sarcastic. With the new album The Omniclasm, they've once again called out some in the metal world, this time calling out the big names of the scene who are phoning it in and relying on their past to justify it. I am sure we can all think of bands that can fit into this category. Why continue to do what got you there in the first place when you can just Take The Paycheck?