Vancouver Canucks (10-6-2) @ New York Rangers (8-7-2)
Where: Madison Square Gardens, New York, NY
When: 4:00 pm PST
Where to Watch: SNP
SB Nation Opposition Blog: Blueshirt Banter
What You Need To Know: Yeah, the Canucks kinda blew it on Saturday. Mind you, given the kind of disastrous things that have happened in afternoon games over the last few years, I will take a shootout loss over a devastating injury any day. One thing the Canucks could have used on Saturday was a goal from Elias Pettersson. And while it took a blatant trip by Jeff Skinner to keep OLASEP from ending it in OT, it feels like maybe he was saving things for tonight.
What better place to showcase the NHL’s leading rookie than in NYC, and on his birthday, no less? And it’s not just Pettersson that has been impressing (though he’s the straw that stirs this drink), the Canucks somehow have points in 6 straight games, and sit atop the Pacific Division in spite of injuries to some pretty significant parts of their lineup.
And while we’re on the topic of Pettersson, anyone who tells you to stop comparing him to Wayne Gretzky can just shut the hell up now...
“From my point of view, he’s got a lot of my similarities.”— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 12, 2018
As Elias Pettersson helps the #Canucks transition into a new era, The Great One spoke to @Sportsnet650 about the Vancouver rookie's dominant skill-set:https://t.co/GMfoKxd5ZY
We’re not saying he IS Gretzky. But there haven’t been many since who can play and think the game like the Great One did. Never forget how blessed this team is to have OLASEP.
Another thing that’s been unexpected this year is the Canucks getting balanced scoring. Loui Eriksson is (finally) on fire right now. Eric Gudbranson is on a career high point streak and has scored in back to back games (SELL! SELL! SELLLLLLL!!!!!). And of course, #ShotgunJake is growing into the first rounder the Canucks hoped he could be. Most importantly, the days of safe, boring hockey are done. Sure, a lot of nights this is gonna blow up in their faces. But it sure as hell beats the tedious past few seasons (save for the Sedinery, of course).
THE OPPOSITION: When our old pal AV was finally shown the door in the Big Apple, it signified the team was ready for a change. And while there’s a new coach in David Quinn, there’s still some familiar faces, most notably Henrik Lundqvist still manning the crease for the Rangers. And much like the Canucks, they’re looking for points in their 7th straight game. They sit just two points out of a Wild Card spot at the moment, and can make up ground on Buffalo with a win tonight.
From nhl.com, here’s the lineups we should see tonight:
Canucks projected lineup
Tim Schaller -- Bo Horvat -- Loui Eriksson
Nikolay Goldobin -- Elias Pettersson -- Jake Virtanen
Antoine Roussel -- Markus Granlund -- Tyler Motte
Darren Archibald -- Adam Gaudette -- Brendan Leipsic
Derrick Pouliot -- Christopher Tanev
Ben Hutton -- Erik Gudbranson
Michael Del Zotto -- Troy Stecher
Scratched: Brendan Gaunce, Alex Biega
Injured: Alexander Edler (knee), Sven Baertschi (concussion), Jay Beagle (arm) Anders Nilsson (finger), Brandon Sutter (shoulder), Brock Boeser (groin)
Rangers projected lineup
Vladislav Namestnikov -- Mika Zibanejad -- Ryan Spooner
Chris Kreider -- Kevin Hayes -- Lias Andersson
Jimmy Vesey -- Brett Howden -- Jesper Fast
Cody McLeod -- Filip Chytil -- Vinni Lettieri
Brady Skjei -- Tony DeAngelo
Marc Staal -- Neal Pionk
Fredrik Claesson -- Kevin Shattenkirk
Scratched: Brendan Smith
Injured: Adam McQuaid (lower body), Mats Zuccarello (groin), Pavel Buchnevich (broken thumb)
Jacob Markstrom is getting the start for the Canucks tonight, which means we should see Richard Bachman getting the nod tomorrow night as they go crosstown to take on the Islanders.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Going back to the early 90’s and a great album from NYC natives PRONG. Force Fed was a great mix of high speed thrash and punk energy, a crossover album that stands up with any from that period. I recently reacquired this (on vinyl, no less) in my on going campaign to get all of my faves from my late teens- early twenties. Here’s ‘Senseless Abuse’.