Vancouver Canucks vs Minnesota Wild
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC
When: 7:00 PM PST
Where to watch: Sportsnet Pacific, FS-N
Where to listen: Sportsnet650
SB Nation Game Hub
Opposition Blog: Hockey Wilderness
It was, no matter how you look at it, one of the most disappointing losses of the season. Sure, it wasn’t like the blowout losses against Nashville and Calgary, or that 4-0 stinker against Buffalo. No, this one was bad because it showed us a Canucks team that played like they didn’t care.
Are they actually tanking, knowing that Brock Boeser is gone? I don’t believe so and even if they were, we’d never know for sure. But the lack of effort was almost to a man, save for Jacob Markstrom and maybe Eric Gudbranson and Brendan Leipsic. The rest of the team was just not there, and that made for a game that resembled the Canucks under the last days of the Willie Desjardins regime than Travis Green’s version of the team. I surely hope we’re not heading back to those days, because they were downright unwatchable.
With the makeup of this team very much up in the air, perhaps it’s time to start treating the rest of the season as an audition. That means giving Nikolay Goldobin more ice time. It means throwing a few more minutes Darren Archibald’s way, if he’s truly to be the replacement for Derek Dorsett (and I think he can be). It means calling up Thatcher Demko and giving the kid a taste of what to expect to prepare him for next season (because one of Jacob Markstrom or Anders Nilsson, maybe even both won’t be here next year). And maybe it means taking a look at the D-core in Utica and seeing if one or two of them deserve a look-see. I certainly wouldn’t be averse to Ashton Sautner or Evan McEneny getting a call up, if it were possible.
Their opponent tonight, the Minnesota Wild are currently in 3rd place in the Central Division, and while they’re 3 up on Dallas, they sit 6 behind Winnipeg and home ice for what will likely be a first round playoff matchup, so they’ll be motivated to keep pushing the Jets as we head into the last month of the season. The big story for the Wild this year has been Eric Staal, who looks positively born again in Minnesota. He’s 4 goals shy of 40 on the season, and leading a Minnesota team that barely resembles the dreary Jacques Lemaire-led squad back in their early days. Devan Dubnyk is having another strong year, and can hit 30 wins with a victory tonight.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
A double shot for you today (couldn’t decide which one to use so I went with both!), as we have a new video from Judas Pries off their latest ‘FIREPOWER’ and a new one from the upcoming Napalm Death compilation “Coded Smears And More Uncommon Slurs”. Two very different bands, playing two very different styles both from Birmingham, UK.