VANCOUVER CANUCKS (4-5-0) vs OTTAWA SENATORS (1-5-1))
ROGERS ARENA- VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC, TSN5. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: SILVER SEVEN SENS
If you got home from work late, and missed the first period of last night’s game, I truly envy you. You could be forgiven for thinking the Canucks played a hell of a game, and to be fair there were moments where they were utterly walking all over the Ottawa Senators, especially on the power play. But when you then find out that the Canucks were outshot by the worst team in the NHL 24-7 in that first period, I would say that one could only imagine the look of shock and disbelief on your face, but that would imply that you are not at all familiar with the history of the Vancouver Canucks, and having recently decided to take up hockey fandom, drew their name out of a hat when deciding who to pledge your loyalty to.
It speaks volumes about Thatcher Demko and his progress towards claiming his birthright as the starting goaltender for the Canucks. If not for his incredible first period performance, we’d be discussing how bad it is that the worst team in the league just laid a beating on Vancouver. Instead, we’re talking about how there are little things that are looking better or at least returning to normal, and some pleasant surprises.
Elias Pettersson looked like Elias Pettersson for the first time all year last night, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. They’re heading East for what is going to be an incredibly tough road trip, so potentially going there with EP40 and the rest of the Lotto line back in the form they showed last season has to be a confidence booster. They’re getting consistent point production from the defence, and that will always help. And the incredible story of Tyler Motte, who is following up on a strong playoff performance tied with Bo Horvat for the team lead in goals. The Canucks cannot rely on just their top 2 lines to get things done, so seeing the bottom 6 contribute is a sign of hope.
One thing that was missing from last night? The anticipated fireworks following a blowout game that saw a couple scraps. I think it’s a safe bet that’s not going to happen again tonight, especially if the Senators find themselves down by more than two goals. They’ve been outscored 12-2 in these 2 games, and have been the better team for chunks of them, so the frustration and a coaching staff looking to see which players are willing to step up and not let this go without a fight, literally, should make for a long night in the penalty boxes.
Courtesy of nhl.com, here’s an educated guess at tonight’s rosters:
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
Josh Brown — Braydon Coburn
Scratched: Artem Zub, Artem Anisimov, Alex Galchenyuk
Injured: Christian Wolanin (lower body)
Canucks projected lineup
J.T. Miller — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Nils Hoglander
Zack MacEwen — Brandon Sutter — Adam Gaudette
Antoine Roussel — Jay Beagle — Tyler Motte
Alexander Edler — Tyler Myers
Quinn Hughes — Jordie Benn
Nate Schmidt — Jalen Chatfield
Scratched: Loui Eriksson, Olli Juolevi, Jake Virtanen
Injured: Travis Hamonic (upper body), Jayce Hawryluk (undisclosed), Micheal Ferland (head)
Yesterday we wondered just what it was going to take for Adam Gaudette to get back into the lineup. Turns out it was just a few games of Jake Virtanen coasting on the 3rd line. Other than that, we don’t anticipate any other changes apart from Braden Holtby getting the start tonight. The Sens will likely go back to Matt Murray this evening, and Josh Brown will draw back in to replace Christian Wolanin, who was injured in last night’s game and did not return.
GAME DAY CHATTER
Listen in as Motte and Petey talk to the media post-game. https://t.co/ogxRsylh2a— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 28, 2021
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
So I think I might have played a band called BabyMetal for you a while back. They’re a band from Japan that plays a style of music called Kawaii Metal, which mixes heavy to extreme metal mixed with J-pop style and sensibilities. It’s pretty wild, and a little bit of a shock to the system. Japan have always been a little bit ahead of the curve on stuff, but this is pretty nuts. The band is called Necronomidol, and the track is called ‘Dawnslayer’. Enjoy the game, folks. Go Canucks Go!