VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
7:00PM PST ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SPORTSNET, SN1, SN360, CITY, CBC. RADIO: SN650.
OPPOSITION BLOG: PENSBURGH
The last time these teams played, things got a little stupid. And by a little, I mean a lot. A complete collapse in the 3rd period of a game they should have won. This will still be very fresh in their minds I am sure, and no doubt Travis Green and his staff will have reminded them though they probably didn’t mean to be told. The question is, will it matter?
I mean, give them credit, they did get two points on Thursday against a team they’d gotten a scant handful from in their short history by beating the Vegas Golden Knights, but they still gave up one by blowing a late one goal lead in the 3rd after a horrible penalty call given what didn’t get called in that game. It seems like everytime the Canucks play them, someone from Vegas accidentally on purpose tries to injure a Vancouver player. Last year, it was Alex Tuch’s oopsie head shot on Sven Baertschi that effectively ended his season and pretty much his time with the Canucks, maybe even his NHL days. Now, it’s Josh Leivo, who had been on a pretty good tear, playing the best he’d been for the Canucks since they brought him in. Leivo suffered a broken kneecap on this hit from Nick Holden.
so #Canucks lose Leivo who had 7+12=19 in 36 games. Was on a 43 point pace. Positive possession player (52.4% i-corsi). Positive goal share (53.8%). T-3 on team in even strength goals. T-4 in even strength points— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) December 21, 2019
No call, and on the next play Holden scored to tie the game at 3. It’s maddening, really. The officiating just seems to be getting worse when it comes to dangerous plays getting passed over, and the most minor of hooks and slashes being called. Anyway, Vegas is a garbage team and I will continue to shout this from the rooftops.
But with Leivo out, bad news turns to worse, as we’ll see in our look at tonight’s lines...
Penguins projected lineup
Canucks projected lineup
Yes, that’s Loui Eriksson on the 2nd line taking Leivo’s spot. And with Sutter, Ferland and Edler still out, this lineup seems like one that can be exploited all over again by the Penguins, who are on a roll at the moment, fresh off a victory in Edmonton where they held Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl off the scoresheet.
GAME DAY CHATTER:
“We’ve talked about consistency a lot this year, so these two games before Christmas are big. We’re ready to have a big effort tonight and play a full 60.” - Boeser pic.twitter.com/NKYnPDHQIo— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) December 21, 2019
“We need to carry some momentum from our win the other night into tonight’s game. They have some very skilled players and they’re a very fast team. We’ll be ready.” - Tanev pic.twitter.com/2fZQjqPpYQ— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) December 21, 2019
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:
Gonna stick with Rob Halford again today, and go back in time to when he actually left Judas Priest. His first project after leaving them was a Pantera-ish slab of thrash with the band known as FIGHT, which also featured JP drummer Scott Travis. From the debut album ‘War of Words’ here’s ‘Into The Pit’.