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GAME DAY PREVIEW- Game 4: Canucks vs Philadelphia

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The annual visit from Gritty’s Gang is upon us as the Canucks take on the Flyers on HNIC.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

7:00PM PST ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC

TV: SN, CBC. RADIO: SN650.

OPPOSITION BLOG: BROAD STREET HOCKEY

Wednesday night was pretty fun, but it’s back to work for the Canucks as they try not to get buried in the standings early on with some surprising starts from Pacific Division rivals. They’ll face another team off to a solid start in the Philadelphia Flyers, who have won their first two games this season, the last one an impressive 4-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils.

We spoke with Kelly Hinkle of our pals over at Broad Street Hockey to get us up to speed on Alain Vigneault’s Flyers squad this season:

1. Much like the Canucks, the Philadelphia Flyers have some new faces in the lineup this season. Tell us about who some of these people are and also please tell us that there’s a buddy cop show in the works called Gritty and the Bunnyman.

The biggest addition for us, both money and impact-wise, it Kevin Hayes. With Giroux moving to wing and thriving there, we had a bit of a shortage of top-end talent at center. So finding a legit 2C was a huge positive and we’ve already seen the results. He looks awesome. We added Justin Braun and Matt Niskanen on defense, but the jury is still out there. I’m hopeful they’ll both be, at minimum, not terrible. So we’ve got that. Additionally, both Connor Bunnaman and Carsen Twarynski made the team out of camp, which was a bit of a surprise. A lot of Flyers fans were hoping Joel Farabee would win that 3W job, but the guys in charge liked what they saw out of Twarynski enough for him to get that spot. Bunnaman is... a guy. He’s not horrible but he certainly isn’t good. Definitely not good enough to get a show with Gritty.

2. Our old pal Alain Vigneault is behind the bench and while it’s early, he has the Flyers off to a great start. We know you were all, let’s say concerned, about AV taking over as the bench boss. Your thoughts so far, and what’s the general mood from the fanbase about the ever-smiling Vigneault?

Whatever negativity remained surrounding the AV hiring is totally gone. It seems to be that the consensus is that we like this guy. The “Behind The Glass” series seems to have moved that along, as we got a nice long look at his personality, which is a complete 180 from the guy we had before. In that AV has a personality and is not a robot. We’re only two games in, so a bit early to render a full judgement on actual coaching things, but they’re winning games and they look fun. We’ve missed that.

3. We heard about Nolan Patrick and his on-going issues with severe migraines. What’s the latest on his condition?

From what I’ve heard he’s traveling with the team and remains day-to-day. I think the latest reports have us more optimistic than we were at the start. It was really unclear how long he’d be out when we first learned about his condition, so knowing that he could be coming back sooner than later is good. We need to see what we have in this kid, because we really don’t know yet.

4. I don’t really have a question about Carter Hart, I figured I would just let you wax poetic about him here.

DID YOU SEE THAT SAVE IN THE DEVIL GAME OH MY GOD.

5. Maybe it’s speculation, but as the core of the team ages, who do you see as being the players the Flyers are building around, and is there someone you think will step into the Captaincy after Giroux calls it a career?

I think we’ll see Sean Couturier become the captain and a new core being built around Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee up front, and Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim in the back. They’re *quite* good.

Thanks as always to Kelly for taking the time to talk to us!

LINEUPS:

As far as the Canucks go, it sounds like we’ll see the exact same lines we saw on Wednesday against the Kings:

Pearson-Horvat(A)-Leivo

Miller-Pettersson-Boeser

Ferland-Gaudette-Sutter(A)

Schaller-Beagle-Virtanen

Edler(A)-Myers

Hughes-Tanev(A)

Benn-Stecher

Markstrom

The Flyers will likely roll with this (via BSH)

Forwards

​Giroux — Hayes — Voracek

Lindblom — Couturier — Konecny

JVR — Laughton — Twarynski

Bunnaman — Raffl — Pitlick

Defensemen

ProvorovBraun

Gostisbehere — Hagg

Sanheim — Niskanen

Goalie

Hart

GAME DAY CHATTER:

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Richmond, VA thrashmaniacs MUNICIPAL WASTE dropped a new 4 song EP yesterday called The Last Rager and it frickin’ rips. Here’s one of the tracks, dedicated to our own expert on this particular topic, Westy!