ROGERS ARENA- VANCOUVER, BC
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OPPOSING BLOG: SILVER SEVEN SENS
As entertaining as it was to watch Monday’s 7-1 dismantling of the Ottawa Senators, it’s going to mean absolutely nothing if the Vancouver Canucks don’t come out tonight and kick this team while they’re down. And that’s the danger heading into this one: a two pronged potential attack of complacency on the Canucks part, and an embarrassed opponent looking to return the favour.
That means they’re gonna need to play a hell of a better defensive game tonight than they did on Monday. 30+ shots against is going to come back to bite them on the ass as it often has this season. They will also need to score early and dictate the pace of this game. The Sens will come out firing on all cylinders, so take the wind out of their sails with an early goal and let them know it’s not happening tonight.
Another thing that needs to happen? Elias Pettersson has to start fighting his way through whatever the hell is going on and get back to being one of the offensive leaders on this team. As he goes, they go and it’s not a surprise that with EP40 struggling, the Canucks find themselves unable to score their way out of trouble like they did last year. Not that it’s a recipe for success, but it’s better than what we’ve been served up thus far. His Lotto line teammates J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser have been putting up points, but not in the dominant way that line was producing last season. Any success this team has hinges on these guys getting it together.
Courtesy of nhl.com, this is what you should expect tonight from these teams:
Senators projected lineup
Brady Tkachuk — Josh Norris — Drake Batherson
Tim Stutzle — Chris Tierney — Connor Brown
Nick Paul — Colin White — Evgenii Dadonov
Cedric Paquette — Derek Stepan — Austin Watson
Thomas Chabot — Nikita Zaitsev
Mike Reilly — Erik Gudbranson
Christian Wolanin — Braydon Coburn
Scratched: Artem Zub, Artem Anisimov, Alex Galchenyuk, Josh Brown
Canucks projected lineup
J.T. Miller — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Nils Hoglander
Zack MacEwen — Brandon Sutter — Jake Virtanen
Antoine Roussel — Jay Beagle — Tyler Motte
Alexander Edler — Tyler Myers
Quinn Hughes — Jordie Benn
Nate Schmidt — Jalen Chatfield
Scratched: Adam Gaudette, Loui Eriksson, Olli Juolevi
Injured: Travis Hamonic (upper body), Jayce Hawryluk (undisclosed), Micheal Ferland (head)
No changes up front for the Canucks tonight, but on defense Jalen Chatfield will draw back in at the expense of Olli Juolevi, who scored his first NHL goal on Monday. This is not particularly a shock, as they’re going to be easing him into his role slowly. You have to wonder what it’s going to take for Adam Gaudette to get into the lineup though. If the bottom 6 keep contributing, it could be difficult for him to slot back in. And while we were wrong about the starter last time, we’re pretty sure that for the first time this season we’ll see a Canucks G make consecutive starts as Thatcher Demko looks to get on a roll after his first victory of the season.
The Senators are making a number of changes to their lineup to try and get a better outcome than last time. Colin Green and Cedric Paquette are in to replace Artem Anisimov and Alex Galchenyuk, while veteran Brayden Coburn will probably take Josh Brown’s spot on the back end. Markus Hogberg will get the start tonight after Matt Murray was so, so unlucky Monday, giving up 7 to the Canucks.
GAME DAY CHATTER
Nate Schmidt meets with media to discuss Sutter, ice cream, hats, and hockey. pic.twitter.com/sbSy9c9Vl8— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 26, 2021
It’s always a special night when the Canucks host their #HockeyTalks game, as they bring awareness to mental health issues and pay tribute to Rick Rypien, whose 2011 suicide inspired the movement. Tomorrow is also #BellLetsTalk Day, so a good couple days but really, remember that every day is a good day to talk about mental health, and your friends and family who struggle with them will always need your love and support.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Back to 1990 and the title track from Prong’s ‘Beg To Differ’ Album. This one was in heavy rotation in my Walkman back in the day, and holds up pretty well. Enjoy the game, have one for Ryp, and Go Canucks Go!