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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME EIGHTEEN: Canucks vs Winnipeg- Nov 19, 2021

After that oh-so reassuring chat from Jimbo, I am sure everything will be okay now.

NHL: OCT 03 Preseason - Jets at Canucks Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (5-10-2) vs WINNIPEG JETS (9-3-4)

ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC

7:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC, TSN 3. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: ARCTIC ICE HOCKEY

Except that it won’t. Expecting this team to somehow miraculously turn its season around is the kind of willful ignorance that a chunk of this fan base has been displaying for years when fans tried to point out that this team was not good, not getting better, and Jim Benning was the ‘mastermind’ behind all the rather pronounced lack of success.

That press conference was pretty much what we expected. It has shocked a lot of hockey people around the league to see Benning proclaim his surprise at this team's struggles to start the season, but for those of us who live and breathe this team, that was classic Jimbo. He comes across as earnest, so much so that it almost makes you forget he’s saying he was essentially blindsided by the way the team has played, and all of his moves over the past season haven’t changed a thing, and in some cases, made things even worse.

So you’ll forgive me if I find it hard to be optimistic about anything right now concerning the Vancouver Canucks. We’ve been through this a few times already, only this time he knows there’s no way he can blame things on his predecessors. It was a little off-putting to see him nudge the players and the coaching staff under the bus instead of standing up and taking full responsibility. Remember, he said he “feels responsible”, not was responsible.

How can they move forward with leadership who are clearly in over their heads, ownership who seem only concerned with the bottom line and nothing more (as though a perpetually underperforming team would make you just as much money as a team on par with the way they were a decade ago)?

And to compound the issues, they have to face a very good Winnipeg team tonight that has lost just one regulation game in their last ten. They’re very much one of the teams to beat in the West this season, and normally I would look forward to a game like this as a measuring stick for the Canucks to see how they stack up. Instead, I worry another game like the one we saw in Colorado last week is in the works.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, this is what we expect these teams to ice tonight:

Jets projected lineup

Kyle ConnorPierre-Luc DuboisBlake Wheeler

Andrew CoppMark ScheifeleNikolaj Ehlers

Jansen HarkinsAdam LowryEvgeny Svechnikov

Dominic ToninatoRiley NashKristian Vesalainen

Josh MorrisseyNate Schmidt

Brenden DillonNeal Pionk

Logan StanleyDylan DeMelo

Eric Comrie

Connor Hellebuyck

Scratched: Nathan Beaulieu

Injured: Paul Stastny (foot)

Canucks projected lineup

Jason DickinsonElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatNils Hoglander

Conor GarlandJ.T. MillerVasily Podkolzin

Tyler MotteJuho LammikkoAlex Chiasson

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTucker Poolman

Quinn HughesTravis Hamonic

Kyle BurroughsTyler Myers

Thatcher Demko

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Brad Hunt, Justin Dowling

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

So it looks like more lines being shaken up, and the power play units will have a different look as well.

Sure, what the hell?

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Here’s another track of that awesome EXODUS album ‘Persona Non Grata’ for ya today. Turn this up loud and let it draw the anger from ya. You’ll thank me later, honest.