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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs Anaheim

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There’s still time for them to get this right, but they can’t afford to do anything foolish. You know, like win any of these remaining 6 games.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Vancouver Canucks Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

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,

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.

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.

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:

POSSIBLE LINES

CANUCKS

Nikolay Goldobin—Bo Horvat—Jussi Jokinen

Daniel Sedin—Henrik Sedin—Sam Gagner

Reid Boucher—Brandon Sutter—Jake Virtanen

Darren Archibald—Nic Dowd—Tyler Motte

PAIRINGS

Alex Edler—Troy Stecher

Michael Del Zotto—Derrick Pouliot

Ashton Sautner—Alex Biega

STARTING GOALIE

Expected: Jacob Markstrom

DUCKS

Rickard Rakell—Ryan Getzlaf—Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano—Ryan Kesler—Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie—Adam Henrique—Ondrej Kase

Jason Chimera—Derek Grant—Chris Kelly

PAIRINGS

Cam Fowler—Brandon Montour

Hampus Lindholm—Josh Manson

Marcus Pettersson—Francois Beauchemin

STARTING GOALIE

Expected: John Gibson

SICK BAY

Canucks

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)

Ducks

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.