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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME 48: Canucks vs Edmonton

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So fine, if the Canucks are truly ‘going for it’, they have to stop phoning it in, something they’ve done too many times this season.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks (21-21-5) vs Edmonton Oilers (22-21-3)

Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC

When: 7:00 pm PST

Where to Watch: SNP

SB Nation Opposition Blog: Copper And Blue

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: I hate when people talk about things like the “Man Cold” and imply that men are giant babies when they get sick. That being said, I fear this may be my last post ever, because I have the flu and I may not survive. Remember me fondly, and excuse me for phoning it in.

While the jury is still out on whether the Canucks have turned the corner, one thing is for sure: they are a better team when Elias Pettersson is in the lineup. And by better I mean night and day better. So when a team relies heavily on a player who is the driver like EP has become, it’s common sense one could expect the team to recognize this and step up when he’s not there. Give the kind of extra effort one sometimes needs to do in order to deal with a workplace situation that leaves you shorthanded.

So many of the games that Pettersson has missed have been utter disappointments, many of them looking like Sportsnet was running tape from the Willie Desjardins-era Canucks and not this season’s squad. The game against Arizona last week was a classic example of this. If they think they can actually stay in the hunt, then they need to stop playing like they’re already out of it. There are some guys who have shown up, most notably Jacob Markstrom, but overall, they’re not getting enough out of guys that they should be able to rely on. That means we need to see more from the top 6. We need to see Erik Gudbranson in the press box. And we need to see some bloody consistency.

Here’s a bit of reading before game time: Apparently the Oilers have been hit by the flu bug and this could help the Canucks tonight... So I guess we should start the clock on Nikolay Goldobin watch... And if you haven’t read Botch’s article on Elias Pettersson from Monday you absolutely need to... Tonight is the annual #HockeyTalks game. Here’s some info on the initiatives that the Canucks work on as part of their commitment to get everyone talking about mental health...

CANUCKS’ LINES

LW – C – RW

Sven BaertschiBo HorvatBrock Boeser

Antoine RousselBrandon SutterJake Virtanen

Tim SchallerMarkus GranlundJosh Leivo

Loui ErikssonJay BeagleTyler Motte

Defence pairings

Alex Edler – Chris Tanev

Ben HuttonTroy Stecher

Derrick Pouliot – Erik Gudbranson

Goalies: Jacob Markstrom, Thatcher Demko

SICK BAY

Elias Pettersson (knee)

OILERS’ LINES

LW – C – RW

Leon DraisaitlConnor McDavidTy Rattie

Milan LucicRyan Nugent-HopkinsAlex Chiasson

Ryan SpoonerKyle BrodziakJesse Puljujarvi

Tobias RiederJujhar KhairaZack Kassian

Defence pairings

Darnell NurseKris Russell

Caleb JonesAdam Larsson

Brandon ManningMatt Benning

Goalies: Cam Talbot, Mikko Koskinen

SICK BAY

Kailer Yamamoto (upper body)

Andrej Sekera (achilles)

Oscar Klefbom (finger)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Power play

Canucks: 17.1% (22nd)

Oilers: 21.4% (12th)

Penalty kill

Canucks: 78.6% (21st)

Oilers: 77.7% (24th)

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN: A great hardcore band from the UK up on the player for you today. ITHACA have just put out their 3rd release (and 1st for Holy Roar Records) called “The Language Of Injury”. Here’s the title track followed by a new video that just dropped yesterday for the track “Impulse Crush”. Make sure to check them out on Bandcamp.