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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME FIVE: Canucks @ Chicago- Oct 21, 2021

The discontent is thick in the air of Canuck Nation. After a completely embarrassing, unacceptable loss, there best be a statement made from this team tonight.

Vancouver Canucks v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (1-2-1) vs CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (0-3-1)

UNITED CENTER, CHICAGO, IL

5:30PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: SECOND CITY HOCKEY

As a stand alone game, the loss to Detroit looks like one of those frustrating nights where a backup goalie shines. Paired up with Tuesday in Buffalo, it’s a pair of games where they should have come away with four points, instead of none. We tried to give Jim Benning credit for all the hard work he put in this season. We realized that Travis Green probably deserved a do-ever after last year (because let’s face it, you can’t seriously judge a coach who had to put up with what the Canucks went through last season).

Things were supposed to be different this season. And after two games, where they were deserving of the points they took, it seemed as though this might be the case. Two games later and we’re having flashbacks to last season, defensive breakdowns at the top of the list of what ails this team, and with Quinn Hughes listed as a game time decision today, it’s looking a little grim just five games into the season.

This fan base has been patient, far more patient than we’re given credit for. But let’s be honest: How many of you can sit through another season like the one we just saw from the Canucks? This team has enough challenges ahead of them, that they can afford to get in a deep hole right out of the gate. With injuries plaguing their Pacific Division rivals, every game they don’t win right now will come back to haunt them down the road.

And that brings us to tonight’s opponent and the danger that lies ahead. When the Chicago Blackhawks shocked the world by trading for Marc-Andre Fleury, some felt that this was just what the Hawks needed to start moving forward as they build a young core now that their glory days, and the players involved in those cup wins, are behind them. And yet, here’s the Hawks, playing game five of their schedule and still looking for their first win of the season, and if that doesn’t set off alarm bells for you about this game ending badly, you must be new around here.

I am a very frustrated fan right now. I am tired of being told things will be different, then asked to not believe what I and everyone else can see quite clearly. I want to see effort. I want to see games where from first whistle to last, they are actively engaged in trying to win. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. If we can’t get that, then something has to change, because we simply can’t sit through 78 more games of what we saw in Buffalo on Tuesday night.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, this is what we will probably see lineup-wise tonight:

Canucks projected lineup

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatConor Garland

Nils HoglanderElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

Justin DowlingJ.T. MillerVasily Podkolzin

Matthew HighmoreJason DickinsonJuho Lammikko

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTucker Poolman

Brad HuntTyler Myers

Quinn HughesJack Rathbone

Thatcher Demko

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Alex Chiasson, Nic Petan, Luke Schenn

Injured: Brandon Sutter (illness), Tyler Motte (upper body), Brady Keeper (leg)

Blackhawks projected lineup

Brandon HagelKirby DachPatrick Kane

Dominik KubalikJonathan ToewsDylan Strome

Alex DeBrincatHenrik BorgstromRyan Carpenter

MacKenzie EntwistleTyler JohnsonJujhar Khaira

Jake McCabeConnor Murphy

Calvin de HaanSeth Jones

Riley StillmanErik Gustafsson

Kevin Lankinen

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Adam Gaudette, Philipp Kurashev

Injured: Mike Hardman (head laceration), Wyatt Kalynuk (ankle)

As mentioned, Quinn Hughes will be a game-time decision, and if he’s not able to go then that means we likely see Kyle Burroughs draw back in. One guy we won’t see is Adam Gaudette, who apparently can’t even crack the lineup when the team has yet to win a game this season.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Needed something short, (not so) sweet and to the damn point today and boy, did this new one from Swedish supergroup The Lurking Fear fill that order. Featuring Tomas Lindberg, Adrian Erlandsson and Jonas Stalhammar of At The Gates, the former and current bands of the members is like a Swedish metal encyclopedia. At just over a minute long, ‘Death Reborn’, a track off their upcoming ‘Death, Madness, Horror, Decay’ gets the job done with a ferocious mix of Swedish riff insanity and snarling punk attitude.

Enjoy the game, Go Canucks Go!