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GAME DAY PREVIEW- Game Fifty Two: Canucks @ Calgary

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4 of the next 5 games against the Flames? I’m sure everything will be fine and there will be absolutely no silliness whatsoever.

NHL: FEB 17 Canucks at Flames Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (21-27-3) vs CALGARY FLAMES (23-26-3)

SCOTIABANK SADDLEDOME- CALGARY, AB

6:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: MATCHSTICKS AND GASOLINE

Five games remaining in this hellish exercise trying to be passed off as an NHL season, and four of them are against tonight’s opponent. And when it’s against a team with guys like Matthew Tkachuk and Milan Lucic in the lineup, it’s hard not to imagine some kind of shenanigans going on before the final game next week.

And coming off the second biggest loss the Canucks suffered this week (the biggest one being Tyler Toffoli’s Players Tribune piece that dropped today), the real story surrounding the Canucks are the status of the off-ice components.

Head Coach Travis Green has no contract heading into next season, and your guess is as good as mine as to what that means for his, and the team’s future. A lot of it hinges on whether or not GM Jim Benning is held accountable for this mess. Given the elimination of the team, and the Toffoli piece where he revealed that the team did not even submit a contract offer to him, it’s been a pretty bad week for Ol’ Jimbo. I’d actually feel bad for him, except that it’s been a pretty bad 7 years for Canucks fans apart from the playoff blips, which look more and more like an a glitch than something they actively planned to do.

This team is absolutely rudderless off ice right now, and it’s going to cost them in the long run.

And let’s be clear: this is not just a management failure. This is an ownership failure. Allowing someone to be in charge of your business who runs it so poorly that you can’t given the employees the tools they need to succeed is a fireable offence in pretty much any line of work. Benning and his team, with the blessing of the Aqualinis, have stumbled and bumbled through everything this season, and made a challenging season exponentially worse through incompetence.

LINEUPS

Canucks projected lineup

Nils HoglanderJ.T. MillerBrock Boeser

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatZack MacEwen

Jimmy VeseyTravis BoydMarc Michaelis

Matthew HighmoreTyler GraovacJayce Hawryluk

Alexander EdlerNate Schmidt

Quinn HughesTravis Hamonic

Olli JuoleviTyler Myers

Thatcher Demko

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Jalen Chatfield, Jack Rathbone, Kole Lind

Injured: Brandon Sutter (upper body), Jake Virtanen (leave), Tyler Motte (undisclosed), Antoine Roussel (lower body), Elias Pettersson (upper body), Jay Beagle (undisclosed), Justin Bailey (shoulder), Micheal Ferland (head)

Flames projected lineup

Johnny GaudreauElias LindholmMatthew Tkachuk

Milan LucicDerek RyanDillon Dube

Andrew MangiapaneMikael BacklundJoakim Nordstrom

Josh LeivoGlenn GawdinBrett Ritchie

Mark GiordanoChristopher Tanev

Nikita NesterovRasmus Andersson

Oliver KylingtonMichael Stone

Jacob Markstrom

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Adam Ruzicka, Juuso Valimaki

Injured: Noah Hanifin (shoulder), Sean Monahan (hip)

So other than Olli Juolevi coming back in at the expense of Jack Rathbone, and Thatcher Demko in goal, the Canucks will roll with essentially the same lineup as they had Tuesday night in Winnipeg. The Flames will start Jacob Markstrom, so he’ll either shut out the Canucks, or be the goalie who gives up Edler’s milestone 100th career goal.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

The best metal instrumental. I will not listen to any arguments on this.

Enjoy the game. Go Canucks Go. Fire Benning.