VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs ST LOUIS BLUES
7:00 PM PST ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SN650.
OPPOSITION BLOG: ST LOUIS GAME TIME
The All Star Game has come and gone. The Canucks trio of Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Jacob Markstrom all performed well and made us all very proud. Now, onto hockey that actually matters. Counting tonight’s contest, there’s 33 games remaining. If the Canucks can win 2⁄3 of these, that’s an additional 44 points, which will give them 102 points for the season. That point total would certainly guarantee a playoff spot and let’s be honest, exceed even the most optimistic expectations for the team. The problem is, because of the log jam in the Pacific, and in the Western Conference in general, winning slightly less than this amount could see them miss the postseason for the 5th straight year. Yes, few picked them to make the playoffs this year (myself included) but that doesn’t mean we want to see them miss.
They’ll have their hands full tonight as they take on the St Louis Blues. The Blues lead the West right now, and sit 10 points ahead of the Canucks. The 8 Bettman points they’ve acquired are a factor in this though, so they’re hardly running away with things in the Central. It may not be as close as the Pacific, but Colorado and Dallas are within striking distance, and a small losing skid could definitely see the lead change hands.
Blues projected lineup
Scratched: Carl Gunnarsson
Canucks projected lineup
The Canucks will roll with the same lineup that defeated San Jose 9 days ago, and that includes Thatcher Demko getting his 2nd consecutive start as they rest Jacob Markstrom before heading down to take on the Sharks on Wednesday night. No changes in terms of the scratches, but you have to wonder what will have to happen for Jordie Benn to get back in the lineup. The Blues are relatively healthy, save for their best player Vladimir Terasenko out for a while with a shoulder injury. The Blues are a good road team, but taking on one of the NHL’s best in the Canucks, who have a league best 8 game home ice winning streak, and have won 12 of 16 on Rogers Arena ice since Dec 1st.
GAME DAY CHATTER:
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:
The metal world is reeling from the news of another stellar musician who’s left us far too soon when it was learned that former CYNIC and DEATH drummer Sean Reinert was found dead in his home last week. Reinert was a founding member of Cynic, and played along with Cynic’s Paul Masvidal on Death’s ‘Human’ album. Reinert was just 48 years old. A spectacularly talented musician, his contributions will leave a lasting legacy, and a high bar to follow. I included a play through video he made of one of the tracks from their brilliant ‘Traced In Air’ album, that really gives you a taste of how talented he was. Reinert was also part of Aeon Spoke, an alternative rock band with Masvidal.