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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks @ Chicago

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Well, at least this game is important to us...

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks @ Chicago Blackhawks

United Center, Chicago, IL

When: 5:30 PM PST

Where to watch: SNP, NBCSCH

Where to listen: Sportsnet650

Opposition Blog: Second City Hockey

I feel for most teams’ fans as they come to the realization that there’s no playoffs in their springtime. Even teams I dislike, I can still feel some empathy for their fans, because missing the playoffs is a soul-crushing experience at times, especially if there’s high expectations. There are a couple teams, however that I simply cannot muster up an ounce of concern for, and one of them is the Chicago Blackhawks.

I’m sure it sucks that your team is missing the playoffs for the first time in 9 seasons, but given the disproportionate number of fans who avoided the team like the plague until you started winning games, it’s hard to feel sorry for them. Or to have an ounce of sympathy for a fan base that simply turn around and gaze back fondly when your team won 3 Cups in 6 years. Boo. Hoo.

They will continue along, getting bailed out of their salary cap jams with one-sided shitty trades by other GM’s and probably go on to win the Cup again next season or something stupid like that. It’s like feeling bad for Oilers or Islanders fans for what they have to endure now: at least you have glory days to look back upon, so shut the hell up about how hard your existence is.

Anyway, onto the important stuff, here’s your #FallinForDahlen update:

TANKWATCH 2018 Last night was a crucial match that may get looked back upon as the moment the Canucks won/or lost the whole damn thing. The contest between Buffalo and Arizona wasn’t quite as dreadful as the last time these two met in a contest with huge tanking implications, but just like when the Canucks expansion cousins joined the league, they managed to screw us over with the number 1. A 4-1 loss to the red-hot Coyotes did move the Canucks into sole possession of 30th, and a regulation loss is definitely needed as the Canucks play the first of a back to back. The Sabres are back in action Friday against another tank contender in Montreal, so ideally the Canucks want to still be just one point ahead of the Sabres heading into Friday’s action. The Coyotes are also playing tonight as they take on Carolina Hurricanes, and the Edmonton Oilers are in Ottawa to battle the Sens. Detroit hosts Washington in the other tank battle game.

From theprovince.com here’s the predicted lineups:

CANUCKS’ GAME-DAY LINES

Brendan Leipsic — Bo Horvat — Jake Virtanen

Daniel Sedin — Henrik Sedin — Sam Gagner

Darren Archibald — Brandon Sutter — Tyler Motte

Reid Boucher — Nic Dowd — Nikolay Goldobin

Defence pairings

Alex Edler — Chris Tanev

Michael Del Zotto — Troy Stecher

Alex Biega — Derrick Pouliot

Starting goalie: Jacob Markstrom

BLACKHAWKS’ LINES

Brandon Saad — Jonathan Toews — Patrick Kane

Vince Hinostroza — Nick Schmaltz — Andreas Martinsen

Tomas Jurco — Artem Anisimov — Alex Debrincat

Patrick Sharp — David Kampf — John Hayden

Defence pairings

Duncan Keith — Jan Rutta

Erik Gustafsson — Brent Seabrook

Jordan Oesterle — Connor Murphy

Expected starting goalie: Anton Forsberg

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

From Aurora, IL (Wayne’s World!!) hail the doom legends known as Trouble. Got a chance to see these guys open for Pantera at the Commodore back in the day, and they were awe-inspiring. Here’s their cover of ‘Psychotic Reaction’ by Count Five, who released this track in 1965.