ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: SECOND CITY HOCKEY
I guess it makes sense that after Jim Benning was unable to answer whether he had overestimated his team’s performance in the 2020 playoffs, that they would snap that nasty 5 game losing streak with a Bubble Demko classic. And despite getting outplayed by a much better Winnipeg Jets squad, a couple power play goals and not giving up any on the penalty kill were the difference on Friday night.
And now they find themselves in a perfect situation as they prepare for a 5 game Eastern road swing: One last game at home against a tired opponent, and not a good one at that as the Chicago Blackhawks, fresh off a loss to the Edmonton Oilers last night, visit Rogers Arena this evening.
Normally, we would try and offer up some kind of flattering info on the opponent that the Canucks are set to face, but I just cannot bring myself to say anything nice about this abomination of a franchise. My feelings on Jim Benning have not changed. I still think he needs to go for the good of this team, but dear gawd, I want the Canucks to stomp an absolute mudhole in these guys tonight.
While Friday’s game wasn’t the greatest performance out of the team this season, getting Demko back in the groove, a strong game from Elias Pettersson, the power play looking halfway decent all are positives to take forward as they head into the next two weeks which are literally going to make or break this team’s season. If they continue the pace they’ve been on, we can just stop imagining that there’s hope for the playoffs and prepare for firings and trades to fill in the space where this team has ripped our hearts out. If they can get on a roll? Well, it’s likely just delaying the inevitable, but maybe it’s less painful?
A neat little history note today:
Courtesy of nhl.com this is what to expect on the ice tonight:
Blackhawks projected lineup
Alex DeBrincat — Kirby Dach — Patrick Kane
Brandon Hagel — Jonathan Toews — Dominik Kubalik
Henrik Borgstrom — Dylan Strome — Philipp Kurashev
Ryan Carpenter — Jujhar Khaira — Mike Hardman
Caleb Jones — Seth Jones
Jake McCabe — Connor Murphy
Riley Stillman — Erik Gustafsson
Scratched: Adam Gaudette, Reese Johnson
Injured: Tyler Johnson (neck), Calvin de Haan (wrist)
Canucks projected lineup
J.T. Miller — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Nils Hoglander
Conor Garland — Jason Dickinson — Vasily Podkolzin
Tyler Motte — Juho Lammikko — Alex Chiasson
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Tyler Myers
Quinn Hughes — Travis Hamonic
Kyle Burroughs — Tucker Poolman
Scratched: Brad Hunt, Justin Dowling
Pretty much the same lineup as Friday, though watch for Justin Dowling to possibly get in to replace Alex Chiasson, who was absent from practice yesterday. And also note that Adam Gaudette still can’t crack this lineup. Huh.
GAME DAY CHATTER
Coach Travis Green talks to the media after Saturday morning practice. pic.twitter.com/OOzxxjHvF1— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 20, 2021
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
On a NAPALM DEATH kick today, so here’s an absolute beast from ‘Enemy Of The Music Business’. Enjoy the game, Go Canucks Go! Oh, and Fire Benning!