VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs ST LOUIS BLUES
7:30PM PDT THE BUBBLE @ ROGERS PLACE, EDMONTON, AB
TV: SPORTSNET, NBCSN, FS-MW. RADIO: SN650.
OPPOSITION BLOG: ST LOUIS GAME TIME
If they try and tell you that the pressure is on the Canucks tonight, don’t buy into that. It’s squarely on the shoulders of the defending champions who are still trying to figure out this Canucks squad. Sure, they’re controlling the top line at 5v5, but they’re getting killed on the power play. And the 2nd line is scoring, not to mention the 3rd and 4th lines have been getting chances. They’re also getting goals from the defence, and while they may have outplayed the Canucks for long stretches of these two games, they have nothing to show for it.
The Canucks have a defensive issue to deal with tonight as Tyler Myers is out after suffering a shoulder injury in Game 2. That presents an issue for Travis Green: Do you go with the veteran Jordie Benn, who missed camp to be with his wife during the birth of their child? Is it Jalen Chatfield who gets the nod? He’s had a couple games up with the big club, and that seems like the better option. Or does he roll the dice and give Brogan Rafferty a shot? Rafferty was a revelation in Utica as a rookie this past season, putting up 45 points in 57 games for the Comets. Nhl.com is showing Benn in, but we’ll see closer to game time who actually gets the nod. And let’s not forget Olli Juolevi, who was solid in Game 4 against Minnesota. For him to get in though, Travis Green would have to go against his preference of playing DMen on their shooting sides.
The #Canucks have now won 9 straight playoff games vs the St. Louis Blues dating back to the '03 playoffs when Vancouver came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the #stlblues. In '09, the Canucks swept the Blues in 4 straight. And now, in 2020, Canucks lead Blues 2-0. #GoCanucksGo pic.twitter.com/49slgBu9vz— Vintage Canucks (@VintageCanucks) August 15, 2020
That seems like a long run, and one that’s due to come to an end at some point. This series is far from over, even if it goes to 3-0 for the Canucks, so we’re not gonna do some crazy-ass victory dance til there’s a Loui Eriksson empty net goal in the elimination game. We’re Canucks fans. We know better.
Something has to give tonight, because this Blues team simply can’t lose a 6th straight game with this much talent. Their PK’s been brutal, their PP mostly ineffective, and they’re getting beat where it matters, on the scoreboard. They’re due for a bounce back, and if they get the kind of favourable officiating they got in Game 2, that will give them a boost.
One thing to watch for tonight is the Canucks maybe trying to use last change to get Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser away from Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron and Jaden Schwartz. Green doesn’t usually juggle things too much, but getting them out there against that 4th line with the painfully slow Troy Brouwer could be fun to watch.
There’s also the possibility that the Blues try and shake things up by making a goaltending switch. Jake Allen had a solid season backing up Jordan Binnington, and was impressive in the Round Robin game against Dallas. He’s definitely a 1A type of backup, so if they were to do this, I wouldn’t be totally shocked.
Courtesy of nhl.com here’s what we should see tonight:
Blues projected lineup
Tyler Bozak — Brayden Schenn — Vladimir Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz — Ryan O’Reilly — David Perron
Sammy Blais — Robert Thomas — Zach Sanford
Alexander Steen — Oskar Sundqvist — Troy Brouwer
Carl Gunnarsson — Alex Pietrangelo
Marco Scandella — Colton Parayko
Vince Dunn — Justin Faulk
Scratched: Ivan Barbashev, Jordan Kyrou, Ville Husso, Robert Bortuzzo, Klim Kostin, Austin Poganski, Niko Mikkola, Derrick Pouliot, Jake Walman, Mackenzie MacEachern, Jacob de la Rose
Unfit to play: None
Canucks projected lineup
J.T. Miller — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Loui Eriksson
Antoine Roussel — Brandon Sutter — Jake Virtanen
Tyler Motte — Jay Beagle — Zack MacEwen
Alexander Edler — Troy Stecher
Quinn Hughes — Christopher Tanev
Oscar Fantenberg — Jordie Benn
Scratched: Olli Juolevi, Justin Bailey, Jalen Chatfield, Louis Domingue, Adam Gaudette, Tyler Graovac, Brogan Rafferty
Unfit to play: Micheal Ferland, Josh Leivo, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Myers
Imagine this: Manny Malhotra becomes the first NHL Head Coach of South Asian descent and the only visible minority bench boss in the league.— David Singh (@ByDavidSingh) August 16, 2020
My feature on the @Canucks assistant and why the above sentence is more of an inevitability than possibility:https://t.co/kvrXqB1eHt pic.twitter.com/Eij5mvIJtG
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:
While they called it a day a couple years back, they were the kings of the Van City metal scene, touring the world and laying waste to audiences in the process. Off their ‘Fire Up The Blades’ album, here’s (Through The Horned Gate) Night Marauders from the almighty 3 Inches Of Blood!