‘re VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
7:30PM PDT THE BUBBLE @ ROGERS PLACE, EDMONTON, AB
TV: SPORTSNET, CBC,NBCSN. RADIO: SN650.
OPPOSITION BLOG: KNIGHTS ON ICE
As far as playoff victories go, this one ranks right up there with the 1982 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, the birth of Towel Power and the start of that incredible run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Maybe the Canucks don’t have the horses to get them there, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned so far in the bubble, it’s that underestimating the Vancouver Canucks could be a mistake.
They haven’t won these series against Minnesota and St Louis by outright domination, but by hard work, a commitment to defence unlike anything we saw out of this team during the regular season, and a complete and total buy in on what Travis Green and his staff are putting on the white board. They’re the lowest ranked team remaining in the postseason, yet they’re full value for their presence here. Underdogs? Absolutely. And they wouldn’t have it any other way.
They’re up against a very good Vegas Golden Knights squad who haven’t had much of a challenge so far. They breezed through the Round Robin, then took on a Chicago Blackhawks team that knocked out a dysfunctional, one-dimensional Edmonton Oilers squad, but struggled to contain the Vegas attack. The Blues and Golden Knights are fairly similar in style, the difference being Vegas having more speed and some pretty dangerous weapons at their disposal. Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson, Mark Stone and Max Paccioretty are the big name players, but down the lineup this team can score, and it’s going to be another challenge for the Canucks as a team to limit chances and give Jacob Markstrom the space to do what he does best.
They’ve also, like the St Louis Blues before them, got a bit of a goaltending controversy brewing in the bubble. Heading in, it seemed like a no brainer that Marc-Andre Fleury would be the starter, but he’s lost his spot to Robin Lehner, and let’s just say that Fleury’s agent isn’t impressed.
Ho. Ly. Shit.
And while yes, it is an agent sticking up for his client, he’s got a pretty good reason for being upset.
Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't lost in regulation to Vancouver in 14 years.— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) August 22, 2020
I asked about opponents and lineups with that in mind. This was DeBoer's exact quote.
"When I think about it, I don't think it changes our roster decisions or our line makeups, at least not for Game 1." https://t.co/2krnbcWRuX
So all this has forced Vegas into damage control mode, and serves as a possible distraction heading into this series. Should the Canucks pull out a win tonight, the #VegasGoaltendingControversy will be in full swing. Ain’t it a delight to see this happen to other teams for a change? Downright refreshing!
Vegas Golden Knights
Max Pacioretty Chandler Stephenson Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault William Karlsson Reilly Smith
Alex Tuch Nicolas Roy Nick Cousins
William Carrier Patrick Brown Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb Nate Schmidt
Alec Martinez Shea Theodore
Zach Whitecloud Nick Holden
Canucks projected lineup
J.T. Miller — Elias Pettersson - Jake Virtanen
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat - Brock Boeser
Antoine Roussel — Adam Gaudette — Brandon Sutter
Tyler Motte — Jay Beagle — Loui Eriksson
Alexander Edler — Troy Stecher
Quinn Hughes — Christopher Tanev
Oscar Fantenberg — Jordie Benn
Scratched: Olli Juolevi, Justin Bailey, Jalen Chatfield, Louis Domingue, Tyler Graovac, Brogan Rafferty
Unfit to play: Micheal Ferland, Josh Leivo, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Myers
We could see one change tonight, and that would be the return of Tyler Toffoli. Hard to say who might come out of the lineup to fit him back in, but the Canucks would love to have a healthy Toffoli back in. Tyler Myers will return at some point in this series, but it won’t be tonight.
"We need different guys to step up at different times, and we got that all series. I couldn’t be prouder of our guys. We have a lot of confidence as a group and have a lot of guys who want to win. We got the job done in this series and we have a long road ahead." - @BoHorvat pic.twitter.com/trfLZW3ruz— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) August 22, 2020
Stecher, speaking the truth about Markstrom post-game: pic.twitter.com/ZQaXPTL7DX— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) August 22, 2020
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:
While we’re trying to fill this with BC based bands as much as possible on this run, we’re also gonna throw in some good new stuff that you should hear and today we’ve got the return of Bay Area thrash legends VIO-LENCE with an absolutely vicious cover of the DEAD KENNEDYS ‘California Uber Alles’. The new version of the band features former OVERKILL guitarist Bobby Gustafson, and ex-Fear Factory bassist Christian Olde Wolbers, who join Sean Killian, Phil Demmel and Perry Strickland. No word on when their new album will be out on Metal Blade Records, but this is a hell of a return to form.