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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Game Thirty-Four- Canucks @ Montreal

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Silver linings and dark clouds or something like that. What if your team went on a good run and it still didn’t help them get out of the hole they dug themselves?

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (15-16-2) vs MONTREAL CANADIENS (13-8-8)

BELL CENTRE- MONTREAL, PQ

4:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC, TSN2. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: HABS EYES ON THE PRIZE

This team is cursed.

I mean, anyone who’s been a follower of the Canucks for any length of time accepts this in some way. But when you look at how any positive news is followed by an equal and opposite slap in the face from the hockey gods, you cannot deny that they are forever doomed to fail. The latest dose of stark, cold reality comes as the team has gone on a bit of a run. They’re 7-3-0 in their last 10 games, that’s the best in the division. They’re actually within striking distance of the team they play tonight, the Montreal Canadiens, for 4th place and a playoff spot. This is good, right?

And then, comes the misery.

With the Canucks still not likely to make the playoffs due to all of the teams ahead of them holding at least 3 games in hand (apart from the Oilers), it means the Canucks could (and probably should) be sellers at the trading deadline on April 12th. And their biggest possible trading chip? Tanner Pearson. Well, not anymore.

That recovery period will take him past the trading deadline, and make any potential deal far more difficult for DBDGMJB. Cursed.

Now, maybe they won’t need to do anything. Maybe this stupid team in this stupid season will find some kind of stupid way to make the playoffs. It’s not impossible. It’s still around ‘getting hit by lightning’ improbable, though. They can start by winning both games against Montreal. At least one of them has to be in regulation, or it won’t matter. The Habs will still hold 4 games in hand on the Canucks after this pair of games, so the best case scenario is for the Canucks to be a full two points clear of these bastards when the smoke clears. And make no bones about it, the Habs are not the world beaters the Canucks make them look like. No team has collected as many Bettman Points this year so far. The Canadiens are due for some serious scoreboard payback, and if it could happen now, that would be great.

LINEUPS

Canucks projected lineup

Nils Hoglander — Bo Horvat — Brock Boeser

Jimmy Vesey — J.T. Miller — Jake Virtanen

Tyler Motte — Brandon Sutter — Jayce Hawryluk

Antoine Roussel — Adam Gaudette — Zack MacEwen

Alexander Edler — Nate Schmidt

Quinn Hughes — Travis Hamonic

Jordie Benn — Tyler Myers

Thatcher Demko

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Jalen Chatfield, Jay Beagle

Injured: Elias Pettersson (upper body), Tanner Pearson (lower body), Micheal Ferland (head), Justin Bailey (upper body)

Canadiens projected lineup

Jonathan Drouin — Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Josh Anderson

Tomas Tatar — Phillip Danault — Brendan Gallagher

Tyler Toffoli — Nick Suzuki — Joel Armia

Paul Byron — Jake Evans — Corey Perry

Joel Edmundson — Shea Weber

Brett Kulak — Jeff Petry

Alexander Romanov — Xavier Ouellet

Jake Allen

Carey Price

Scratched: Victor Mete, Artturi Lehkonen, Laurent Dauphin, Michael Frolik

Injured: Ben Chiarot (hand)

So after the paperwork issue that kept him out of the last game, Jimmy Vesey will make his Canucks debut tonight. They’ll also get Antoine Roussel back in the lineup, after missing three games with an injury. The other burning question tonight: do the Canucks go with Demko again tomorrow? If they can keep his workload low, I think you have to consider it, given how dialed in he is right now. But if sees over 30 shots tonight, it might be better to not expose him to being fatigued Saturday, and give Braden Holtby a chance to redeem himself.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

A stick tap to the OG himself ICE-T, on the Grammy win in the best metal category this past Sunday for the track ‘Bum Rush’ by BODY COUNT. We’ve played that one this season though, so we’re gonna go back to the beginning. Ice has put in the work, and I was happy to see him get it if POWER TRIP didn’t. Enjoy the game, Go Canucks Go!