VANCOUVER CANUCKS (11-15-2) vs MONTREAL CANADIENS (11-6-6)
ROGERS ARENA- VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC, TSN2. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: HABS EYES ON THE PRIZE
In a season where the Canucks have struggled to find bright spots, rattling off two wins against the first place Toronto Maple Leafs without Elias Pettersson in the lineup was probably their best back to back efforts all season. Those wins will mean absolutely nothing if they can’t follow it up tonight with a win against the team that has flat out embarrassed them this season: the Montreal Canadiens.
Following a 6-5 SO win for the Canucks in their first meeting of the season, the Canadiens have outscored the Canucks 23-10 in the next 4 contests. And the games weren’t even as close as the scores showed, because the Canucks just had no answer for the Habs speed and skill. Somehow, through all this Claude Julien lost his job and Travis Green still has his, and if Green wants to keep things that way, a couple wins over Montreal would definitely help.
One thing that’s changed since those contests? The play of Thatcher Demko. After a bit of a rough start, he’s arguably been the Canucks best player over the last month, and in the last week he’s been absolutely stellar, and got a nod from the league for his efforts.
⭐⭐ Demko guided the @Canucks to wins in three of their four games, starting with his first career regular-season shutout last Monday. He then posted a pair of wins against the NHL-leading Maple Leafs, allowing only three goals to the League’s highest-scoring team. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/OupBPVS8Sj— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 8, 2021
They’re going to need him to be on top of his game again tonight, as the Canucks look to stay relevant in the North Division.
It’s going to be a special night for two reasons. First, Alex Burrows is back in Rogers Arena tonight for the first time since being hired as an assistant coach by the Canadiens. And secondly, tonight is the first of five Hockey Is For Everyone nights hosted by the Canucks, promoting tolerance and inclusion for all in the game we love. Tonight, it’s honouring the contributions of women to the game of hockey on International Women’s Day.
Courtesy of nhl.com, this is what we’re likely to see lineup wise tonight:
Canadiens projected lineup
Tomas Tatar — Phillip Danault — Brendan Gallagher
Jonathan Drouin — Nick Suzuki — Joel Armia
Tyler Toffoli — Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Josh Anderson
Paul Byron — Jake Evans — Corey Perry
Ben Chiarot — Shea Weber
Joel Edmundson — Jeff Petry
Brett Kulak — Alexander Romanov
Scratched: Victor Mete, Artturi Lehkonen
Canucks projected lineup
Nils Hoglander — J.T. Miller — Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Jake Virtanen
Marc Michaelis — Brandon Sutter — Adam Gaudette
Antoine Roussel — Jay Beagle — Jayce Hawryluk
Alexander Edler — Nate Schmidt
Quinn Hughes — Travis Hamonic
Jordie Benn — Tyler Myers
Scratched: Jalen Chatfield, Olli Juolevi, Zack MacEwen
Injured: Elias Pettersson (upper body), Justin Bailey (upper body), Tyler Motte (undisclosed), Micheal Ferland (head)
No changes for the Canucks tonight, and that means the 3rd straight game without Elias Pettersson in the lineup. They’ve been playing well without him, but let’s not kid ourselves: this team needs him to be back in the lineup as soon as possible. The Habs will go with Carey Price tonight against Thatcher Demko, hoping that another game against the Canucks can get Price back on track, it would seem.
GAME DAY CHATTER
"It's very inspiring, he's been through it all." Antoine Roussel comments on Alex Burrows joining Montreal's coaching staff and discusses the tilt with the Canadiens.#Canucks | @TheProvince pic.twitter.com/MamWVSlKHH— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 8, 2021
"We are up for the challenge. We haven't played very well against Montreal this season... we are looking forward to the game." - Coach Green#Canucks | @TheProvince pic.twitter.com/YYUZcZnS04— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 8, 2021
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
And in keeping with the theme of tonight’s game on International Women’s Day, here’s a stick tap to all of the women kickin’ ass in the metal scene. Metal, much like hockey has a lot of work to do when it comes to acceptance and tolerance. Check out Brazillian thrashers NERVOSA, with the track ‘Under Ruins’ off their album ‘Perpetual Chaos’, available now from Napalm Records.