UPDATE: A press release was sent out shortly after 6:00 pm PST saying that the Canucks vs. Flames contest has been postponed.
Here’s the press release from the NHL.
The National Hockey League announced today that, as a result of two Vancouver Canucks Players (including one Player who was added to the COVID Protocol List after it was released at 5:00 p.m. ET today) as well as a member of their coaching staff entering the NHL’s COVID Protocols, the team’s game tonight against the Calgary Flames will be postponed. The decision was made by the League’s, NHLPA’s and Club’s medical groups. The League will provide a further update tomorrow.
Below was the game preview for tonight. One day, it will be relevant, but today is not that day.
More to come.
VANCOUVER CANUCKS (16-18-3) vs CALGARY FLAMES (16-18-3)
ROGERS ARENA- VANCOUVER, BC
7:30 PM PST
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC, TSN3.
RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: MATCHSTICKS AND GASOLINE
We knew that heading into the six-day schedule break that the Canucks were going to lose ground on everyone above them in the North Division. What we didn’t anticipate, and honestly we should have known better, was that their situation would be made even more dire despite the time off.
With Adam Gaudette testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday, he becomes the latest Canuck to spend an extended stretch out of action this season. Let’s be clear, injuries and this are not the reason they find themselves where they are, but they have certainly made it more difficult to try and get out of the increasingly deeper hole.
Tonight they take on the Calgary Flames, a team that’s pretty much in the same boat as the Canucks, in a lot of ways. High expectations that were obviously unwarranted, disappointing play from some of their veterans, and a new goalie who hasn’t been as good as anyone hoped. Now, let’s not pretend that Jacob Markstrom has been anywhere as disappointing as Braden Holtby, but he is struggling of late, and that is one of the reasons why the Flames find themselves on the outside looking in.
Give credit to the Flames management though, they took a look at where they were and decided that a change needed to be made behind the bench. The problem is, Darryl Sutter isn’t, and couldn’t possibly ever be the answer in today’s NHL, and it’s only going to be those frauds in Montreal screwing up that allows the Flames to sneak into that 4th and final playoff spot. Yeah, I said it.
The Flames took a lot from the Canucks over the last year. Not just 4 players off the roster, but they also took Justin Bailey. After a strong year in Utica last season, Bailey was finally getting a look with all of the injuries to the Canucks when he got run from behind by (wait for it...) Milan Lucic in a game on Feb 11.
Bailey is now done for the season, and headed to New York to see a specialist about his injured shoulder. It is so insanely frustrating that the NHL continues to allow hits like this to go unpunished. There’s absolutely no excuse for the official, who is right there watching the play to see Lucic hit Bailey in the numbers and not call it. Yes, it’s another typical gutless play from one of the league’s notorious chickenshit hitters. Between on-ice and off-ice officials, we continue to head down the road that will see a player paralyzed from a hit that doesn’t need to happen because there’s been no deterrent from the NHL.
Perhaps the Flames have endured a bit of karma for Lucic’s chickenshit shenanigans. Since the night of Bailey’s injury on February 11th, the Flames have the worst points percentage in the North Division at .440, after a 25-game stretch where they went 10-13-2.
Their points percentage over that stretch ranks 26th in the NHL. The Canucks have been mildly-less mediocre over that time span, going 10-8-3 with a .548 points percentage, good for 15th in the NHL.
Courtesy of the Game Day Skate...which happened despite COVID concerns, but we digress.
Nils Hoglander — Bo Horvat — Brock Boeser
Jimmy Vesey — JT Miller — Jake Virtanen
Tyler Motte — Brandon Sutter — Travis Boyd
Antoine Roussel — Tyler Graovac — Jayce Hawryluk
Quinn Hughes — Travis Hamonic
Alex Edler — Nate Schmidt
Jordie Benn — Tyler Myers
Injured: Elias Pettersson, Tanner Pearson,, Jay Beagle, Justin Bailey, Adam Gaudette (COVID protocol)
Projected Starter: Thatcher Demko
Travis Boyd makes his Canucks debut tonight. He’ll make his Canucks debut beside Brandon Sutter, who’s also returning to the line-up.
What a reward...
Courtesy of their latest practice
Johnny Gaudreau — Sean Monahan — Brett Ritchie
Matthew Tkachuk — Elias Lindholm — Andrew Mangiapane
Joakim Nordstrom — Derek Ryan — Josh Leivo / Dillon Dube
Sam Bennett — Mikael Backlund — Milan Lucic
Mark Giordano — Rasmus Andersson
Mark Stone — Noah Hanifin
Nikita Nesterov — Oliver Kylington
Injured: Chris Tanev (game-time decision)
Projected Starter: Jacob Markstrom
Game Day Battle Hymn
I had to wrap this one up for Kent today, meaning the lines and battle hymn are on me.
To keep Kent happy, I’m going to keep it metal today, with one of the most mainstream early 2000s metal songs, but one of my favourite pump-up jams of all time,
Also, the line “push my fingers into my eyes” really makes me think about all of the crappy Canucks hockey I’ve watched this season.
Anyways, enjoy the jam and hopefully the game tonight.