VANCOUVER CANUCKS @ ST LOUIS BLUES
5:00PM PST ENTERPRISE CENTER, ST LOUIS, MO
TV: SN OB|NE. RADIO: SN650.
OPPOSITION BLOG: ST LOUIS GAME TIME
After dropping their first two games, the Vancouver Canucks have rattled off 3 straight wins, and showed some of the offensive flexing that we witnessed in the preseason in that process. The question as to whether or not this is due to the quality of the opposition will become apparent as the month goes on, but as far as Octobers go, I suppose that it’s a schedule that benefits the Canucks in that a number of the teams they face are low to mid rank teams. This road trip has them playing in New York and New Jersey and again against Detroit, as well tonight’s game against the Blues, who are the only current top 8 team in their respective conferences on this 4 game road swing. Make hay while you can, because if they’re close to a playoff spot come late March, these points might be difference makers. There’s also this:
9 of next 12 & 15 of next 22 on road for #Canucks. Tough stretch. Should find out a lot about team over next six weeks. They’re healthy, playing well and have some momentum after 3W at home. Chance now to take a big step with road results— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) October 16, 2019
JPat’s right here. If they remain healthy and get through the first two months of this schedule, they have a fighting chance here.
One of the biggest questions heading in was Thatcher Demko and would he be able to give the Canucks a solid performance in the backup role this season. If his first game is anything to go on, the goaltending issue may not be much of an issue at all. After giving up the first shot 30 seconds in, Demko shut the door on Detroit the rest of the way Tuesday night, and gave the Canucks the ability to shake off the poor start and dominate the rest of the way.
To get you up to speed on tonight’s opponent, our good friend Laura Astorian from St Louis Game Time was kind enough to answer some questions:
1- Last time we talked to you was around May, I think. Anything exciting happen over the last few months?
Not too much. The Enterprise Arena got some nice upgrades like bigger seats with more legroom and I think Brett Hull got drunk for a little while.
I feel like I’m forgetting something.
2- Obviously (we’re assuming, anyway) winning the Cup changes things for the following season, as every opponent is looking to take you down a little more urgently than the season before? Are the Blues up to defending their title?
I hope so. I haven’t been super thrilled with how messy they’ve played to start the season, but they also had a short summer, they have a new PP coach in Marc Savard so they’re still learning, and TBH last year even once they started playing better they were prone to not playing a full 60 minutes.
But I do think that they have a target on them and they might want to tighten it up a bit, because other teams want to take down the champs - Montreal said as much after the game Saturday night.
3- Even after a successful season, change comes in the offseason. Tell us about the moves the Blues made over the summer, and how are you feeling about those?
I’m pretty ok with it. I like Maroon but he had an awful first half of the season and it wasn’t a sure thing that he wouldn’t have an off season again. Joel Edmundson was benched a few times during the playoffs, and I’m a thousand percent sure that doesn’t happen to Faulk.
Justin Faulk was a surprising move, mostly because no one knows if the trade’s Alex Pietrangelo insurance or not.
4- Is Jordan Binnington for real? He had a solid half-season, but can he continue to play at this level?
Not too sure. He’s been human to start the season, so maybe he’s one of those guys who performs better with some pressure, or maybe he just needs some more time to get into a groove. The best thing about Binnington is that he doesn’t react to things and doesn’t get emotional. He’s not an emotive guy, and I think that helps him keep his focus.
5- Can the Canucks look to the Blues ending their drought as a source of hope that someday, our agony will be over?
I think so! Hell, if the Blues can do it, anyone can. They’ll win one for you guys before you shuffle off of this mortal coil.
Thanks as always to Laura for helping us out, and make sure to follow her on Twitter @hildymac!
LINEUPS: Here’s what we could see for the Canucks tonight:
Morning lines for the #Canucks in St. Louis:— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) October 17, 2019
5pm puck drop on @Sportsnet650 pic.twitter.com/uQq5cfKfYN
Schwartz-Schenn-Tarasenko— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) October 17, 2019
GAME DAY CHATTER:
#Canucks coach Travis Green confirms that plan remains in place for Markstrom to rejoin team on weekend. It doesn't sound like he'll need to extend his personal leave— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) October 17, 2019
"Putting together a stretch like that gives your team confidence, it was a good homestand." Tyler Myers comments on starting the road trip with momentum. pic.twitter.com/QR6T0z2dPK— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 17, 2019
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:
The best damn band ever outta that gawd forsaken place, hands down. They’re doing a reunion show in December with the lineups from their last two albums ‘Manic Impressions’ and ‘Screams and Whispers’, plus there’s going to be a release of all 4 Anacrusis albums on vinyl.