VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs NEW JERSEY DEVILS
7:00PM PST ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SN650.
OPPOSITION BLOG: ON THE FORECHECK
It all started so well, didn’t it? And while the underlying numbers suggest this team is one that should be able to overcome this, to see them sputter through the last few games, looking so much like the teams they’d iced the past couple seasons, should serve as a reality check. This part of the schedule is the true test, the one where they play against the teams they’ll need to be better than in order to succeed in locking down a playoff spot, and so far, it’s not looking so good.
So after losing 4 straight games, the Canucks have 3 more home games this week before a ridiculous 6 game road swing that ends with a home and home back to back against the Oilers, because the schedule makers are just vicious. It starts tonight as they take on a team that they have to be able to hang with if they want to get anywhere this year, the Nashville Predators. The Preds have an identical record save for one less loss (and the game in hand) so you can bet both of these teams don’t want to be giving the other a Bettman point tonight.
If there’s some hope to be had, it’s that the Preds seem to have gotten where they are to date by outscoring their opponents to overcome being a below average team defensively. It might also be a good night to get the PP on track against the 21st ranked PK in the league. The Preds have a lot of speed and skill, but they’re not as adept in keeping the puck out of their own net, so a team that’s been as good at generating shot chances like the Canucks should be able to do well. And let’s face it, after all of the nonsense from the last few games, this team is due for some breaks.
Lines for the #Canucks at practice:— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) November 11, 2019
Jay Beagle is not on the ice.
Jay Beagle did not skate this morning, but will take the warmup. If he can’t go, it will be Loui Eriksson. As you might have noticed, Antoine Roussel is now practicing with the team, but is in a non-contact jersey for the time being. It’s good that he’s getting close to returning though.
And after what has to be one of the most heroic performances in this team’s history, Jacob Markstrom, who lost his father to cancer on Sunday, is taking the night off, and Thatcher Demko will look to get back in the win column after dropping his last game against the Winnipeg Jets. And, via nhl.com here’s what we should see from the visitors tonight:
Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Mikael Granlund
Calle Jarnkrok - Matt Duchene - Viktor Arvidsson
Rocco Grimaldi - Nick Bonino - Craig Smith
Austin Watson - Kyle Turris - Colton Sissons
Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm - Dante Fabbro
Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber
Vancouver native Dante Fabbro is playing in his hometown for the first time, so expect him to have a big game because Canucks. No word yet on the starting goaltender, but with Jusse Saros in goal for their 2-1 SO loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, your guess is as good as mine.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:
Our pals over at On The Forecheck have their preview up, which includes a Celine Dion song (as some kind of bizarre Ryan Reynolds tribute, as the track was on the Deadpool 2 soundtrack. Yeah, we’re not sure what we did to deserve that, but thanks? As I am sometimes want to do, I decided to dig a bit and find a Tennessee based metal band to return the favour. I had some choices, like the doomy PLACE OF SKULLS, THE TONY DANZA TAP DANCE EXPERIENCE, WHITECHAPEL, and STEELER (which eventually became KEEL, and once boasted Yngwie Malmsteen in their lineup!), but we decided to throw some old school Nashville thrash from INTRUDER at ya. They released 3 albums and an EP, and it’s from the ‘Escape From Pain’ EP that we get today’s battle hymn, a crazy cover version of CHICAGO’s ‘25 Or 6 To 4’.