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GAME DAY PREVIEW- Game 64: Canucks @ Toronto

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After a couple impressive wins over Boston and Montreal, the Canucks rolled into Ottawa and gave a dud of a performance against the Sens. Can they get back on track against the Leafs tonight?

NHL: JAN 05 Canucks at Maple Leafs Photo by Nick Turchiaro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

4:00PM PST AIR CANADA CENTRE, TORONTO, ON

TV: SPORTSNET, CBC. RADIO: SN650.

OPPOSITION BLOG: PENSION PLAN PUPPETS

Ever get the feeling sometimes that this team is just daring us to believe in them, before yanking the metaphorical football away like Lucy did to Charlie Brown countless times? I swear, everytime we get one of those gutsy, performances like the one they had in Montreal, they follow it up with an absolute stinker like Thursday’s disaster in Ottawa. It’s so frustrating as a fan, but certainly something we’re used to.

Tonight they’re playing a much better team than they faced in the Nation’s capital, but one that’s ripe for the picking. Injuries have hit the Leafs defence core in a pretty horrible way, with 23 of their normal starting Dmen out with injuries. It’s something the Canucks should be able to exploit tonight.

It’s also a pretty big game for a couple Canucks players. It’s the first visit to the ACC for Elias Pettersson, who was injured the last time the Canucks played here. It’s also the first game here for Quinn Hughes, who spent a lot of time in Toronto as a child when his father David was the team’s Director of Player Development.

The last time these teams met was another one of those Lucy games, a disappointing no-show on home ice. Let’s hope they can return the favour tonight and keep things rolling towards locking down a playoff spot.

By the way, longtime Canucks blogger @tinfoiltoque is running a Money on The Board for tonight’s game, with all of the proceeds going to BC Children’s Hospital. Let’s show Canucks Nation that Nucks Misconduct cares, and get some representation there! There’s prizes that he’s giving away, so if you can give, please do so!

LINEUPS

Canucks projected lineup

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatLoui Eriksson

J.T. Miller — Elias Pettersson — Tyler Toffoli

Antoine RousselAdam GaudetteJake Virtanen

Tyler MotteJay BeagleBrandon Sutter

Alexander EdlerTroy Stecher

Quinn Hughes — Christopher Tanev

Oscar FantenbergTyler Myers

Thatcher Demko

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Jordie Benn, Zack MacEwen

Injured: Micheal Ferland (concussion), Josh Leivo (knee), Tyler Graovac (lower body), Brock Boeser (rib), Jacob Markstrom (lower body)

Maple Leafs projected lineup

Zach HymanAuston MatthewsMitchell Marner

William NylanderJohn Tavares — Alexander Kerfoot

Kyle CliffordJason SpezzaKasperi Kapanen

Pierre EngvallFrederik Gauthier — Denis Malgin

Martin MarincinTyson Barrie

Travis DermottJustin Holl

Rasmus SandinCalle Rosen

Frederik Andersen

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Timothy Liljegren

Injured: Ilya Mikheyev (wrist laceration), Morgan Rielly (fractured foot), Cody Ceci (ankle), Andreas Johnsson (meniscus), Jake Muzzin (broken hand)

GAME DAY CHATTER:

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:

Today’s GDBH came to my attention from (you know him, you love him) a tip from Twitchy, who steered me in the direction of this Austin, TX hardcore band. The band’s name is from a CONVERGE song, and you can definitely hear the influence in the music. Short songs that pack a wicked punch (oh lord, the breakdowns are just cave-your-head-in kinda heavy). Check out THE HIGH COST OF PLAYING GOD on Bandcamp, and Facebook, and make sure to tell em we sent you!