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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs Arizona- Farewell, Brothers

Tonight, we say thank you to two of the best damn things that ever happened to this god-forsaken hockey team.

Vancouver Canucks v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Vancouver Canucks vs Arizona Coyotes

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC

When: 7:00 PM PST

Where to watch: SNP, SNO, SNE, SN360, FS-A+

Where to listen: Sportsnet650

Opposition Blog: Five For Howling

There have been three times where it’s been excruciatingly painful to write about this hockey club. In the aftermath of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals is one. The tragic losses of Luc Bourdon and Rick Rypien were the others. And now, this. It’s growing increasingly difficult to keep the emotions that I feel about Daniel and Henrik Sedin in check, so that I can put together something remotely coherent.

And while (thankfully) this is not like the latter painful situations I mentioned, it’s not that much easier, because so much of our love and admiration for these guys is enmeshed in our fandom. Sure, there’s people out there who call themselves Canucks fans who have never had anything good to say about them. These people are idiots, and if you know you one, you’d do well to remove them from your life. Through good times and bad, there has been one constant over the last almost two decades that has given this fan base life. That has kept the blood coursing through our veins. Sedinery. It’s why We Are All Canucks.

Of course, it’s not all sadness. There’s a sense of joy and pride that tonight, the entire nation can see what we’ve known for a long time: the Sedin Brothers were a completely unique gift, to the game of hockey and to the community outside it. Ambassadors for the game, innovators, and leaders on this team in every possible definition of the word. They are the greatest to wear this uniform, and we should be lucky if anyone ever comes close.

The future is dark and scary right now. There’s not a lot that we can latch onto confidently and feel like things are going to get better. So for tonight, and Saturday we’re going to lift our glasses and toast these two amazing human beings from Örnsköldvik, Sweden.

Meanwhile, the accolades continue to pour in. Funny thing about them, they seem to mean more from some, than from others.

Good on him. It speaks volumes of who the Sedins are that they can get the respect of guys that some feel have none for any opponent.

This was an interview a lot of us have been waiting for. Yes, the Sedins had a number of linemates over the years, with varying degrees of success. But Alex Burrows and the Sedins together were the greatest line since the West Coast Express.

Meanwhile, a couple lineup notes:

Here’s the potential lineups from theprovince.com (note the absence of Hutton there, it’s likely Sautner comes out)

CANUCKS’ GAME-DAY LINES

Forwards

Nikolay Goldobin, Bo Horvat, Jussi Jokinen

Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Sam Gagner

Brendan Leipsic, Adam Gaudette, Jake Virtanen

Darren Archibald, Brandon Sutter, Brendan Gaunce

Defence pairings

Alex Edler, Troy Stecher

Michael Del Zotto, Derrick Pouliot

Alex Biega, Ashton Sautner

Expected starting goalie: Jacob Markstrom

COYOTES’ GAME-DAY LINES

Forwards

Richard Panik, Derek Stepan, Clayton Keller

Max Domi, Dylan Strome, Zac Rinaldo

Brendan Perlini, Josh Archibald, Christian Fischer

Jordan Martinook, Brad Richardson, Nick Cousins

Defence pairings

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Luke Schenn

Jakob Chychrun, Alex Goligoski

Kevin Connauton, Trevor Murphy

Expected starting goalie: Antti Raanta

If you can, you might want to catch the Boston/Florida game tonight. It’s Roberto Luongo’s 1000th NHL game, making him just the 3rd goalie in history to hit that mark. The Panthers are 4 points out of a playoff spot and need to keep winning. It would be amazing if they can get it done tonight. Believe in Lu.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

For Danny and Hank.