Vancouver Canucks vs Anaheim Ducks
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC
When: 7:00 PM PST
Where to watch: SNP, FS-W
Where to listen: Sportsnet650
Opposition Blog: Anaheim Calling
While the debut of Adam Gaudette will likely wait until Thursday’s contest against the Edmonton Oilers, it’s garnering at least some of the same buzz as a year ago when Brock Boeser arrived. It’s been kind of interesting as pundits and fans alike throw out their takes, some mocking the other for over-hyping Gaudette,
Pratt's Rant - Gaudette could be the second coming of Kesler for the Canucks https://t.co/K7V4tGaOfB— Dave Pratt (@DavePratt1040) March 27, 2018
others pulling out the negativity card as they try to get people excited about Gaudette. The thing to remember here is, we aren’t 100% sure what we have here. Yes, he was probably the best player in the NCAA this season, and for that reason alone he was a bit of a steal where the Canucks were able to snag him in the draft. That being said, until they get him into the lineup and see what he can do and how he develops size/strength-wise over the summer, it’s not exactly clear what Gaudette can be for them.
Just talked with Adam Gaudette's coach at Northeastern Jim Madigan who worries about high expectations in Vancouver for Gaudette from media and fan base. #Canucks— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) March 27, 2018
Madigan : "He is not the messiah, don't compare him to a Ryan Kesler when he hasn't even played a game. Not fair to Adam, in due time Adam will be a very good NHL player." #Canucks— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) March 27, 2018
There’s a handful of kids who want to be wearing a Canucks jersey next season, and until the Canucks go through the draft and free agency period, there’s more unanswered questions than anything else as to what this team will look like next season.
Anaheim are going to make the dance, it would seem, but there’s still a lot to decided. They’re tied in points with the Los Angeles Kings but have a game in hand that they’re using tonight, so they’d very much like that 2 point cushion as they head towards the end of the season. They’ve been playing well of late, garnering points in six straight games, and are 12-4-2 in their last 18. They also have a much-anticipated debut in their lineup as Troy Terry makes his NHL debut for the Ducks soon. Terry was chosen one pick after Gaudette in the 2015 draft.
Ben Hutton is skating by himself at Rogers Arena ahead of the Canucks morning skate— Satiar Shah (@SatiarShah) March 27, 2018
While Hutton recovers from the foot infection that saw him miss out on the rest of the Canucks road trip, it makes you wonder if he’s played his last game as a Canuck. After the way Ashton Sautner played in his debut against Dallas on Sunday, why would you slot Hutton back in? Sautner looked very much like he could be the kind of physical yet mobile defenceman the Canucks have been needing. Sure, it’s not their only defensive need, and small sample sizes aside it’s an encouraging sign for the future, building upon his impressive season in Utica.
From theprovince.com, here’s the probable lineups for each squad:
Nikolay Goldobin—Bo Horvat—Jussi Jokinen
Daniel Sedin—Henrik Sedin—Sam Gagner
Reid Boucher—Brandon Sutter—Jake Virtanen
Darren Archibald—Nic Dowd—Tyler Motte
Alex Edler—Troy Stecher
Michael Del Zotto—Derrick Pouliot
Ashton Sautner—Alex Biega
Expected: Jacob Markstrom
Rickard Rakell—Ryan Getzlaf—Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano—Ryan Kesler—Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie—Adam Henrique—Ondrej Kase
Jason Chimera—Derek Grant—Chris Kelly
Cam Fowler—Brandon Montour
Hampus Lindholm—Josh Manson
Marcus Pettersson—Francois Beauchemin
Expected: John Gibson
Chris Tanev (knee)
Ben Hutton (foot infection)
Brock Boeser (back)
Sven Baertschi (shoulder)
Loui Eriksson (rib)
Brendan Gaunce (lower body)
Markus Granlund (ankle surgery)
Derek Dorsett (neck surgery, retired)
Kevin Bieksa (hand surgery)
Patrick Eaves (lower body)
The Canucks announced yesterday that Derek Dorsett will be their nominee for the Masterton Trophy, which was not a surprise at all. There’s some pretty tough competition here, like New Jersey’s Bryan Boyle, Roberto Luongo for the Panthers and Tampa’s Steven Stamkos.
The Utica Comets have clinched a playoff spot in the AHL’s North Division and while there’s still time for them to catch the Rochester Americans for 3rd place (they have a big game against Rochester tomorrow night), it should end up with them facing the Toronto Marlies in round 1. We’ll be updating you regularly on this race as they play out their remaining 9 games, and which Canucks players will be heading down to rejoin the Comets for their playoff run.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
As you may have seen, the annual Juno Awards celebrating the best in Canadian music were in Vancouver over the weekend, and the hometown was represented by host Michael Buble, a cameo by Brock Boeser, and the winners of the Best Metal category, ANCIIENTS. Got a chance to see these guys at the Modified Ghost Festival last year, and they were incredible. Congrats to them and to Vancouver (via Victoria) band Archspire on their nomination.