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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Game Ten- Canucks vs Ottawa

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After 20 minutes, it looked like this game was going to be another one of those legendary Canucks collapses. They managed to right the ship, can they do it again tonight?

Ottawa Senators v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (4-5-0) vs OTTAWA SENATORS (1-5-1))

ROGERS ARENA- VANCOUVER, BC

7:00PM PST

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.

LINEUPS

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

Matt Murray

Marcus Hogberg

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

Braden Holtby

Thatcher Demko

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

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!