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GAME DAY PREVIEW- Game 34: Canucks @ Vegas

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After a frustrating, yet typical performance from the Canucks against a struggling San Jose squad, they try to forget the squandered points and take on the team they’re chasing: the Vegas Golden Knights.

Vegas Golden Knights v Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS

5:00PM PST T-MOBILE ARENA, LAS VEGAS, NV

TV: SPORTSNET. RADIO: SN650.

OPPOSITION BLOG: KNIGHTS ON ICE

me·di·o·cre

/ˌmēdēˈōkər/

adjective

Of only moderate quality; not very good.

It’s funny to me, that after all of the screaming and yelling on Twitter the last couple weeks over this 8 letter word, and whether or not it applies to the Canucks, that they have essentially come out and proven it in every game save for the performance they turned in against Ottawa. And last night was the poster child for mediocrity. It had all the classic hits: slow, almost disinterested start; give up the early lead and spend the majority of the game playing come from behind hockey; not being able to hit the bloody net; and not giving their goaltender scoring support on a night when he might have been able to steal one.

Those were two big points they gave away last night for those of you who still think this team can make the playoffs, and tonight’s a 4 another big one as they face a Vegas squad that sits 3 points ahead of them in the standings.

So, maybe you want a positive spin on this? Fine. Let’s see...

Well, one thing that’s different about Vegas this season is they’ve kind of come back down to earth, so to speak. They’re just a .500 team at home thus far, so the Canucks have that going for them. Apart from that, we’ve got two fairly evenly matched teams, but the Golden Knights haven’t played since Friday. If Vancouver wants to make the dance, they need to stop handing out points to Western Conference opponents, especially divisional rivals like Vegas.

LINEUPS:

Via tsn.ca here’s what we should see tonight:

POSSIBLE CANUCKS LINE-UP

Miller-Pettersson-Boeser

Pearson-Horvat-Leivo

Roussel-Gaudette-Virtanen

Schaller-Beagle-Sutter

Hughes-Myers

Fantenberg-Tanev

Benn-Stecher

Markstrom

POSSIBLE KNIGHTS LINE-UP

Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith

Paciortetty-Stephenson-Stone

Zykov-Stastny-Tuch

Carrier-Nosek-Reaves

McNabb-Schmidt

Theodore-Merrill

Holden-Engelland

Fleury

Quinn Hughes continues to do everything he can to fill the void left by the injury to Alexander Edler, playing a career high 27:00 last night.

GAME DAY CHATTER:

With the news that Baertschi and his agent are seeking a trade, the Canucks are doing everything they can to move him. It’s pretty unlikely that anyone will grab him, given that he’s already been on waivers twice this season and didn’t get claimed. It’s going to bring a frustrating chapter for all involved to a close, but questions will be asked how a guy who seemed to fit the bill for a need this team has, and has the stats to prove it, couldn’t get a spot.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:

The other day marked the 18th anniversary of the passing of DEATH mastermind Chuck Schuldiner. Just 34 years at the time of his death from brain cancer, Schuldiner was a massive influence on metal bands world wide, not just by pioneering death metal itself, but pushing the creative boundaries, incorporating virtuoso level musicianship into metal’s most brutal subgenre. This band has been, and continues to be one that I return to, the entire catalog packed with memorable, genre-defining moments. RIP Evil Chuck.