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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME FOURTEEN: Canucks @ Colorado- Nov 11, 2021

3 games in 4 nights on tap for the Canucks starting in the Mile High City as they take on the Avalanche.

Vancouver Canucks v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (5-6-2) vs COLORADO AVALANCHE (4-5-1)

BALL ARENA, DENVER, CO

6:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: MILE HIGH HOCKEY

Okay, so let’s see if I have all of the things that we’ve talked about ad nauseum when it comes to this Canucks squad: Have to stop giving up the first goal. Penalty kill has to be better. Need more scoring from bottom six/defence. PP has to keep their recent success going. I think that’s all of it, right?

The same thing, night after night. In a way it’s almost impressive the Canucks have managed as many wins as they have with the way they put themselves in a hole early in hockey games. And it sucks, because it alters game plans and player usage as the team scrambles to get back into games, so we’ve rarely seen the Canucks dominate because it’s hard to do that when you’re always trailing.

They’ve been playing better, but will need to really crank things up in a difficult road trip that sees them playing three games over the next four nights, including a back to back in Vegas and Anaheim following tonight’s tilt with the Avalanche. They’re sitting three points back of a playoff spot, and two behind Vegas, which makes both of these games about as big as a game can get in mid-November.

The Avalanche have been struggling so far, and with the news they’ll be without Nathan MacKinnon for the next three weeks due to injury, they’ll be hard pressed to try and make up the ground they’ve already lost in a division they were supposed to dominate. They’ve also been missing Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin, who may play tonight after practicing with the team Wednesday.

LINEUPS

Canucks projected lineup

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatNils Hoglander

J.T. MillerElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

Vasily PodkolzinJason DickinsonConor Garland

Justin DowlingJuho LammikkoJustin Bailey

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Quinn HughesTucker Poolman

Jack RathboneKyle Burroughs

Thatcher Demko

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Alex Chiasson, Brad Hunt

Injured: Matthew Highmore (upper body), Brady Keeper (leg), Tyler Motte (upper body), Luke Schenn (lower body), Brandon Sutter (illness)

Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel LandeskogJ.T. CompherMikko Rantanen

Valeri NichushkinNazem KadriAndre Burakovsky

Tyson JostAlex NewhookLogan O’Connor

Darren HelmJayson MegnaKiefer Sherwood

Devon ToewsCale Makar

Bowen ByramSamuel Girard

Jack JohnsonErik Johnson

Darcy Kuemper

Jonas Johansson

Scratched: Kurtis MacDermid, Ryan Murray

Injured: Pavel Francouz (ankle), Martin Kaut (upper body), Nathan MacKinnon (lower body), Stefan Matteau (lower body)

Jack Rathbone is back after spending some time down in Abbotsford, and he’ll draw in tonight to fill the void on the back end with Travis Hamonic unable to play on this road trip due to his current vaccination status. Other than that, it’s going to be the same lineup we saw Tuesday night against Anaheim, with Thatcher Demko in goal, and I would expect to see him get the start Saturday in Vegas with Jaroslav Halak getting the nod in the game Sunday in Anaheim for a chance of revenge against the Ducks.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

In remembrance of those who gave their lives in the ultimate sacrifice.

Enjoy the game, Go Canucks Go!