Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
When: 4:00 pm PST
Where to Watch: Sportsnet
SB Nation Opposition Blog: Defending Big D
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Our pal Botch had this in the latest Athletties, and it really sums up the Canucks’ existence: “Since the 2016 NHL draft when the idea that the Canucks should trade Chris Tanev first started gaining steam the defenceman has now suffered 11 injuries”. As Tanev has gone, so have the Canucks, and it’s placed them in a seemingly endless cycle of the defence being exposed. It’s a combination of the worst kind of bad luck you can imagine and managerial incompetence to create a shitstorm of epic proportions that plays itself out nightly. With Tanev and Alexander Edler in the lineup, the Canucks at least have a shot. Missing one, they’re far below average and if both are out at the same time, as we’ve seen often over the last few seasons? They don’t have a prayer.
With the latest Tanev injury, it means we’ll likely see Luke Schenn draw back into the lineup. The other option is moving Derrick Pouliot to the right side, or calling up Jalen Chatfield from Utica. I would go with Schenn today and get Chatfield in as soon as possible maybe? After missing Friday night with an illness that saw him scratched at the last minute for Tim Schaller, we should see Jay Beagle back in the lineup tonight.
There’s a chance we could see Josh Teves play either today or tomorrow, too. The Canucks are eager to see what they have in the Princeton rearguard. Speaking of future projects, the Canucks announced they’ve signed Jett Woo to a 3 year entry level deal. Woo, drafted 37th overall in the 2018 Entry Draft has had a breakout offensive season with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL, putting up an impressive 12-52-64 in 62 games for the Warriors this season. They’ll be starting their playoffs this week, and we’ll keep you up to date on him as well as any other Canucks prospects in their respective CHL playoff series.
For an already banged-up squad just trying to get to the end of the season, this little road swing is pretty tough. Dallas tonight and Chicago tomorrow after one day of rest, then back home to face Ottawa on Wednesday. We don’t know who is going to start yet, but I would bet we see Thatcher Demko today and Jacob Markstrom tomorrow. The Canucks really need to get Demko starting as many as they can in the handful of games remaining, and as mentioned numerous times here, it makes zero sense to keep playing Markstrom, as good as he’s been, as though they were battling for a playoff spot.
Their opponent today has their hands on a Wild Card spot, but it’s not a lock by any stretch and there’s a lot of games today that could affect the whole situation. The Stars have a pretty brutal schedule in the next two weeks: 8 games in 14 nights that includes the Canucks, Florida, Colorado and Pittsburgh at home and then next week Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton back to back, wrapping up with Vancouver next Saturday. With the 9th place Minnesota Wild just 3 points back of them, the Stars can ill afford losses at all, let alone any against also-rans like the Canucks.
One guy who’s been helping the Stars stay above water down the stretch is G Ben Bishop. He recently set a franchise record for the longest shutout minutes streak, and has been playing well enough to get his name into the Vezina consideration conversation. He’s banged up at the moment and listed as day to day, so Anton Khudobin, who’s played well in the backup role this season for Dallas, will get the start. From the Province, here’s what we should see from these teams today.
LW – C – RW
Nikolay Goldobin — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Loui Eriksson — Bo Horvat — Josh Leivo
Tanner Pearson — Adam Gaudette — Jake Virtanen
Markus Granlund — Jay Beagle — Tyler Motte
Alex Edler — Troy Stecher
Guillaume Brisebois — Alex Biega
Ashton Sautner — Luke Schenn
Goalies: Jacob Markstrom, Thatcher Demko
LW – C – RW
Roope Hintz — Tyler Seguin — Alex Radulov
Jamie Benn — Jason Dickinson — Joel L’esperance
Mattias Janmark — Radek Faksa — Blake Comeau
Andrew Cogliano — Jason Spezza — Brett Ritchie
Esa Lindell — John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen — Roman Polak
Taylor Fedun — Ben Lovejoy
Goalies: Anton Khubodin, Landon Bow
Canucks: Sven Baertschi (post-concussion syndrome), Brandon Sutter (hernia), Ben Hutton (foot), Antoine Roussel (knee), Quinn Hughes (ankle), Ryan Spooner (groin), Chris Tanev (foot)
Stars: Marc Methot (knee), Martin Hanzal (back), Tyler Pitlick (wrist), Mats Zuccarello (broken arm), Ben Bishop (lower body).
Canucks: 15% (29th)
Stars: 19.1% (16th)
Canucks: 80.8% (14th)
Stars: 82.5% (5th)
One Star to keep an eye on is Roope Hintz. After a slow start, the Finnish-born winger has started to produce and has been playing well down the stretch. Our pals over at Defending Big D recently did a feature on him here.
As part of my role to keep up on the rest of the league I seek out interesting Twitter accounts representing other teams to ensure you get a nice mix of info that isn’t just from the networks. One of my favorites from this season has been the Dallas Stars in-house DJ, Michael Gruber. Dallas has a solid reputation for their in-game experience, and Gruber is a big part of that. Here’s a little chat about what he does:
1.- Alright, let’s start with the basics: How long have you been the in house DJ for the Stars and how did you get the position? I have somehow been with the Stars for six seasons now! My first season was 13-14. Before I worked for the Stars, I was at Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket, also the Stars radio flagship since 2009, in Dallas for a decade (2002-12) as a board operator. I become known for playing drops and sound effects at the funniest times and become friends with a few people in the Stars organization, so when the opportunity came around to DJ for the team, they took a chance on me. It took me some time to get my feet under me, but it’s become an absolute blast!
2.- One of the things that’s always struck me watching Stars games is hearing you playing bands you just don’t hear at any other rink. What kind of leeway do you have when it comes to what you play? What’s the heaviest band you’ve ever played? I have a pretty good amount of leeway, but it’s also a collaborative effort with the rest of the game presentation crew to make sure we’re serving the fans first and foremost. It’s fun to throw in a band or a song that’s more niche, but our bread and butter is stuff that gets the crowd hyped or dancing or otherwise enjoying themselves! I like to start off the game with funk/techno/singalong kinds of songs to get a groove going, but as the game progresses, I try to match the intensity so that by the halfway point of the third period things are absolutely rocking!! The heaviest bands I’ve played besides Pantera are: Meshugga, Amon Amarth, and Sepultura among many others! Oh my gosh, how could I forget Power Trip?? I play them a ton. And a fun fact- I went to high school with the lead singer, Riley! We were a year apart but took a couple classes together.
3.- Do you ever get feedback from the players about the tunes? I’ve never heard anything from the players on songs I play. They do have control over the warmup mix, which I get from Tyler Seguin’s pal DJ Zillamatic.
4.- The Stars have always been pretty metal friendly, with the Pantera fight song and all that. Do you still play that, and did you have any interactions with any of them? The Pantera fight song (Puck Off!) is still used when the players skate out for introductions and has been used as the goal song since my first season with the team. Unfortunately, I never got to meet Dimebag or Vinnie Paul, though I heard both of them were just the sweetest, coolest guys there could be!
5.- Give us your five all time favorite songs to get a crowd pumped up. Welcome to the Jungle - Guns ‘n’ Roses; Stand Up and Shout - Steel Dragon; Mobbin - Grandtheft; Doomsday - Nero; and Enter Sandman - Metallica!
And a bonus question:
6.- The wave: Yay or Nay? Nay, but I can’t do anything about it, so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
A huge thanks to Michael for taking the time to answer these, and if you want to check him out of Twitter he’s at @tweetgrubes.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN: As mentioned above, we’re both big fans of Dallas thrashers POWER TRIP, so it was a no-brainer to roll with them today. Here they are playing in George Stromboulopolous’ living room for his CBC Radio show and holy shit this kicks so much ass! They’re playing a bunch of festivals in Europe this summer as well as Psycho Las Vegas this August. Check em’ out at their Bandcamp page and on Southern Lord Records.