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GAME DAY PREVIEW- Game 62: Canucks @ Montreal

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With the guy who quite literally was willing them into the playoff gone for weeks, the Canucks turn to Thatcher Demko as they kick off a massive 4 game Eastern road swing.

NHL: JAN 03 Canucks at Canadiens Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs MONTREAL CANADIENS

4:00PM PST BELL CENTRE, MONTREAL, PQ

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SN650.

OPPOSITION BLOG: HABS EYES ON THE PRIZE

It feels sometimes like being a fan of this team is just asking for punishment, doesn’t it?

I mean, I don’t think there’s another team who could come off a 9-3 asskicking of the best team in the NHL where the good feeling gets the record scratch and “yeah, so about your MVP goaltender... he’s gonna be gone at least a month”. There’s no other team that this could happen to. If the hockey gods are truly a thing, they are really getting their perverse money’s worth in making the fans of this franchise endure the misery that has been part and parcel of their existence.

So now, we hope that Thatcher Demko, the Canucks goaltender of the future is ready, because the future is now, and the very playoff existence of this team is being placed upon his shoulders. And let’s face it, if we don’t see, to a man, the kind of effort we saw on Saturday night, this team’s playoff hopes are going to wither and die.

One of the best things about the win on Saturday was that it was a true measuring stick test for them, being that it was against the NHL’s first place team. Tonight’s game is a measuring stick of a different sort. The Canucks record against the Canadiens is... not good. With just 1 win in their last 10 meetings, and the Habs coming to terms with their playoff aspirations out of reach, this is a game that the Canucks should win, but to do that they’re going to have to somehow solve Carey Price, who seems to play his best against the team from his home province.

LINEUPS:

Canucks projected lineup

J.T. MillerElias PetterssonTyler Toffoli

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatLoui Eriksson

Antoine RousselAdam GaudetteJake Virtanen

Tyler MotteJay BeagleBrandon Sutter

Quinn HughesChristopher Tanev

Alexander EdlerTroy Stecher

Oscar FantenbergTyler Myers

Thatcher Demko

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Zack MacEwen, Jordie Benn

Injured: Jacob Markstrom (lower body), Brock Boeser (ribs), Josh Leivo (kneecap), Micheal Ferland (concussion symptoms), Tyler Graovac (lower body)

Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas TatarPhillip DanaultBrendan Gallagher

Jonathan DrouinNick Suzuki — Joel Armia

Paul ByronMax DomiArtturi Lehkonen

Jordan WealJake EvansDale Weise

Ben ChiarotShea Weber

Brett KulakJeff Petry

Karl AlznerChristian Folin

Carey Price

Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: None

Injured: Victor Mete (lower body), Xavier Ouellet (concussion)

The Habs definitely look different than they did yesterday after sending Ilya Kovalchuk, Nate Thompson and Nick Cousins off to Washington, Philadelphia and Las Vegas, respectively. That’s not to say that this game is a cake walk, but they need to send the kind of message tonight that they sent against Boston. Stay away from the clown show antics that can happen with Max Domi and Brendan Gallagher and focus on getting the two points. And for the love of dog, DO NOT leave Demko hung out to dry. Get this trip started with a win they can build some momentum on. Win it for Marky, dammit!

GAME DAY CHATTER:

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:

Quebec is world renowned for producing some pretty spectacular and influential metal acts, one of them being Montreal’s CRYPTOPSY. Recorded live at the Trois-Rivières Metalfest, this is ‘Back To The Worms’.