ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SPORTSNET ONE. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: BLUESHIRT BANTER
Yes, it’s early, and there’s a lot of hockey to be played, but if the Canucks don’t find a way to rattle off some wins here pretty damn quickly, this is going to be another wasted season. If they hope to change things, they need to start scoring some goals, and this is probably the most damning stat so far this season:
It’s just not good enough, constantly trailing in games. And with four of their six losses by just one goal, a lot of their problems can be fixed by a) not constantly giving up the first goal in the game they’re playing and b) scoring at a pace that a team with this talent level should be.
They’re taking on a New York Rangers team that is one of the more surprising stories so far this season. After cleaning house and making some off-season moves that didn’t seem to make sense (apart from attempting to fire Tony DeAngelo into the sun, only to have him land in Carolina), yet somehow they’re making it work. Even more surprising, is they’ve been doing it without a ton of contributions from Artemi Panarin, who’s had a very Elias Pettersson-like start to his season. Sure, he has eight points, but just one goal from one of the league’s more prolific scorers is surprising.
What they have been getting is a torrid start from Chris Kreider, and Adam “I just signed a gigantic new contract extension” Fox, as well as solid goaltending from Igor Shesterkin, who will start in goal for the Rangers tonight. They’re coming off a win over the Kraken in Seattle, where Shesterkin quite literally stole two points for the Rangers, in a game they were badly outplayed by the Kraken.
Something to keep in mind tonight:
#Canucks J.T. Miller has never lost a game in his career vs the Rangers, his former team (7-0-0)— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) November 2, 2021
Courtesy of nhl.com, this is a somewhat accurate portrayal of what you’ll see tonight:
Rangers projected lineup
Injured: Ryan Reaves (lower body)
Canucks projected lineup
Just one injury for the Rangers right now, as Ryan Reaves is still out, meaning the stupid quotient for this game will be at tolerable levels. While we’re still waiting for official confirmation, it looks like Travis Hamonic will make his season debut for the Canucks tonight, paired up with Luke Schenn. I do wonder if we don’t see Nic Petan at some point to try and shuffle things up a little bit though, as the Canucks desperately look to get back in the win column and avoid getting buried in the basement of the Pacific Division.
GAME DAY CHATTER
"For him to come and talk to the team about it and open up...it was really good. We are happy to have him back and can't wait to have him play."— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 2, 2021
Horvat on Hamonic speaking to the team and explaining his process#Canucks | @theprovince pic.twitter.com/3LndgLpSb8
"I feel like we’ve been defending really well but at the same time we have to work a little harder to get those grade A scoring chances."— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 2, 2021
OEL addresses the media ahead of tonight's game against the Rangers#Canucks | @theprovince pic.twitter.com/c78LCqANLs
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Heading back to the 90’s and one of the more underrated bands from that decade: The Gathering. Based in the Netherlands, they turned heads with their third release, Mandylion, introducing the world to vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen. Her soulful vocals laid over the doomy song structures work so damn well, as you’ll hear on this track from Mandylion: In Motion #1.
Enjoy the game, Go Canucks Go!