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GAME DAY PREVIEW- Game Fifty Six: Canucks vs Calgary

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Finally, some mercy for the beleaguered. Not too much, mind you.

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (23-28-4) vs CALGARY FLAMES (25-27-3)

ROGERS ARENA- VANCOUVER, BC

12:30PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC, SPORTSNET WEST. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: MATCHSTICKS AND GASOLINE

It’s almost over.

This absolutely brutal season has finally reached the last game, and with the league and sponsors getting their pound of flesh from this team, there’s just 60 or so minutes left to play. And in true fashion, they’ve managed to make it as excruciating as possible.

The net was abuzz yesterday with word that change was coming to the Canucks. Could it be that Jim Benning and his team would finally be held accountable for the constant failures and missteps?

No.

Instead, we hear that Daniel and Henrik Sedin are in discussions to join in an as yet undetermined role. While this is a positive thing, as their brilliance on ice should translate well off it, it’s not enough.

The changes that are going to happen are things like not re-signing goaltending coach Ian Clark to a new contract, despite Thatcher Demko literally begging the team to change this and keep him on board. They’ve run the entire season with a lame duck coach in Travis Green, and I will be shocked if they offer him a new deal. There might be a sacrifice to try and appease the masses, like firing John Weisbrod. The worst part? The Aqualini family probably genuinely thinks that something like this, combined with the Sedins joining the management team will repair the rift between the club and the fan base. It’s embarrassing to see just how out of touch they are. It’s that, or they simply don’t give a shit about any of us.

So let’s hope they can end this on a win. Not for Benning’s sake, but for the players. They and Green have been enduring the brunt of all the garbage this season, while management and ownership have been silent so often. The players deserve better. Green deserves better. You deserve better. Bringing back Jim Benning is going to set this team back even further, to the point where Benning’s legacy won’t just be wasting the final years of the Sedins, but wasting the best years of players like Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Brock Boeser, Thatcher Demko and Bo Horvat.

LINEUPS

Canucks projected lineup

Nils HoglanderJ.T. MillerBrock Boeser

Matthew HighmoreBo HorvatJimmy Vesey

Marc MichaelisTyler GraovacJayce Hawryluk

Jonah GadjovichTravis BoydWilliam Lockwood

Quinn HughesTravis Hamonic

Jack RathboneNate Schmidt

Olli JuoleviTyler Myers

Braden Holtby

Thatcher Demko

Scratched: Tanner Pearson, Alexander Edler, Zack MacEwen, Kole Lind, Jalen Chatfield

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

Flames projected lineup

Johnny GaudreauElias LindholmMatthew Tkachuk

Andrew MangiapaneMikael BacklundDillon Dube

Milan LucicDerek RyanBrett Ritchie

Joakim NordstromGlenn GawdinMatthew Phillips

Mark GiordanoChristopher Tanev

Oliver KylingtonRasmus Andersson

Juuso ValimakiMichael Stone

Jacob Markstrom

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Dominik Simon, Adam Ruzicka, Connor Mackey, Nikita Nesterov

Injured: Josh Leivo (thumb)

A healthy scratch on what will likely be the end of his time with the Canucks and maybe his career, stuck on 99 career goals. This team hates you and don’t you ever forget it.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Thank you to each and every one of you who has taken the time to support us this year and from the very start. We love all of you.