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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Game Twelve- Canucks @ Montreal

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What a difference a week makes. After getting clowned by Les Canadiens at home, the Canucks can return the favour as they start a back to back in Montreal tonight.

Montreal Canadiens v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (6-5-0) vs MONTREAL CANADIENS (5-1-2))

BELL CENTRE, MONTREAL, PQ

4:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC, TSN2. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: HABS EYES ON THE PRIZE

The last time these two teams met, the Canucks were absolutely manhandled two games straight by the Canadiens. In that three game set, Montreal picked up 5 of a possible 6 points, outscoring the Canucks 17-10. The Canucks were sitting in 2nd last in the North Division with a mere 2 wins on the season, and only Ottawa had a worse record. They needed a lifeline, or this season was going to get away on them, and fast.

And then, one came.

The Ottawa Senators rolled into Vancouver, and over the course of 4 nights, the Canucks moved back to the .500 mark, regained their goal scoring touch and got some absolutely stellar goaltending from Thatcher Demko and Braden Holtby. They outscored the Senators 16-3 in those games. Just one problem though. They got outshot. Badly. Like, embarrassingly badly. So it was pretty natural to assume that given the garbage fire that is the Canucks defence would get eaten alive on this road trip, starting with a one-off in Winnipeg Saturday night. To the surprise of everyone, they turned in an absolutely dominant defensive performance, holding the Jets to just 24 shots (and just 11 over the final 40 minutes) in a 4 win, their first regulation win over the Jets since they moved from Atlanta.

Had they lost Saturday, we would have just shrugged and said “Well. at least we know we can beat Ottawa”. Now, they head into Montreal with a chance at some payback and more importantly, an opportunity to take over 2nd place in the North Division with a win tonight at the Bell Centre. Along with Demko’s incredible week (For which he earned 1st Star of the Week honours from the league), it’s been the Lotto Line that’s been driving this team. It certainly hasn’t helped to be getting steady point production from the rear guards, and to have guys like Tyler Motte and Brandon Sutter contributing. The big test is tonight and tomorrow, as they get two shots at a Montreal team that just feasted on their defensive inadequacies all night long in those 3 games in Vancouver.

The Habs lost their first game in regulation Saturday as they dropped a 2-0 decision to the Calgary Flames, so they’ll be eager to try and get things back on track with the Canucks in town.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, this is sorta kinda what we can expect tonight. Maybe.

Canucks projected lineup

J.T. Miller — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser

Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Nils Hoglander

Adam Gaudette — Brandon Sutter — Zack MacEwen

Antoine Roussel — Jay Beagle — Tyler Motte

Quinn Hughes — Jordie Benn

Nate Schmidt — Tyler Myers

Alexander Edler — Jalen Chatfield

Braden Holtby

Thatcher Demko

Scratched: Loui Eriksson, Olli Juolevi, Jake Virtanen

Injured: Travis Hamonic (upper body), Jayce Hawryluk (undisclosed), Micheal Ferland (head)

Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas Tatar — Phillip Danault — Brendan Gallagher

Jonathan Drouin — Nick Suzuki — Josh Anderson

Tyler Toffoli — Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Corey Perry

Paul Byron — Jake Evans — Artturi Lehkonen

Ben Chiarot — Shea Weber

Joel Edmundson — Jeff Petry

Alexander Romanov — Victor Mete

Jake Allen

Carey Price

Scratched: Brett Kulak

Injured: Joel Armia (concussion)

Travis Green said there could be a change to the lineup tonight, as someone is questionable. We don’t know that is yet, and will have to see when they post the lineup. Braden Holtby will go tonight for the Canucks, while Thatcher Demko will get the crease tomorrow night, while Carey Price gets the nod for the Habs. No changes for the Canadiens, as Joel Armia is still out with the concussion suffered by the hit from Tyler Myers. I guess we’ll see if the team is still as upset as the EOTP folks are that there was no suspension given to Myers for the hit. All we can say is, we know what you’re feeling. DoPS is a joke, and has only gotten worse under the leadership of George Parros. The things this guy lets players get away with are just unbelievable.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Found myself in an old school MINISTRY mood tonight, so here’s a kickass live version of ‘Thieves’ for ya! Enjoy the game and don’t forget the early start times this week! Go Canucks Go!