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GAME DAY PREVIEW- Game Forty Eight: Canucks @ Edmonton

The Canucks can be officially eliminated from the 2021 NHL Playoffs tonight. Thank dog for small mercies.

Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (19-25-3) vs EDMONTON OILERS (32-17-2)

ROGERS PLACE- EDMONTON, AB

6:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: THE COPPER AND BLUE

Though we have become accustomed to seasons playing out with absolutely meaningless games being fans of this team, it still leaves one with a bitter taste in their mouth. With even a remotely competent management team, they might have been building on momentum gained last season. Instead, there’s a very real possibility even with the number of games left to play, that the Vancouver Canucks could finish in last place this season. Not just in the North Division, but in the entire NHL.

This has only happened once, in their second season, when they finished the 1971-72 season with forty eight points. It should be noted that the Buffalo Sabres, who finished three points ahead of them, had 19 ties that season, which might have helped them. Still, it is an absolutely unacceptable thing, regardless of the circumstances surrounding this season, for this to happen. Anything less than a complete and total overhaul of the brain trust of this team is simply not good enough.

A Montreal point and a Canucks regulation loss, and it’s over. Only with a win can they delay the inevitable. And then we turn our attention to the Aqualinis. If James Dolan of the Rangers can fire his GM and President after the team just missed the playoffs, and with three games remaining no less, then surely the team’s owners can admit they were wrong, cut their losses and begin the process of finding someone who can repair the damage. And honestly, now is the perfect time to do it. With nine games remaining, why not give yourself as much time as humanly possible to get a replacement in place and get them to start putting together a plan to fix the utterly broken mess that is the Vancouver Canucks. The relationship with a large chunk of this fan base hinges on how the owners react over the next couple weeks. Every day that Jim Benning keeps his job tells the fans that abject failure and ineptitude is not only tolerated, it is rewarded handsomely.

We know this because it was already proven, when the club gave Benning a three year contract extension despite missing (at the time) the playoffs four out of his five seasons as the club’s GM. This will make it six of eight. How on earth could anyone be okay with this, let alone the person who is footing the bill for it all?

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, here’s the various assorted players you will see tonight:

Canucks projected lineup

Nils HoglanderJ.T. MillerBrock Boeser

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatKole Lind

Jimmy VeseyTravis BoydZack MacEwen

Matthew HighmoreTyler GraovacJayce Hawryluk

Alexander EdlerNate Schmidt

Quinn HughesTravis Hamonic

Jack RathboneTyler Myers

Thatcher Demko

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Jalen Chatfield, Olli Juolevi

Injured: Brandon Sutter (upper body), Marc Michaelis (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)

Oilers projected lineup

Leon DraisaitlConnor McDavidJesse Puljujarvi

Dominik KahunRyan Nugent-HopkinsKailer Yamamoto

Josh ArchibaldJujhar KhairaPatrick Russell

James NealRyan McLeodAlex Chiasson

Darnell NurseTyson Barrie

Dmitry KulikovAdam Larsson

William LagessonEvan Bouchard

Mikko Koskinen

Mike Smith

Scratched: Alex Stalock, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear

Injured: Devin Shore (undisclosed), Gaetan Haas (undisclosed), Slater Koekkoek (collarbone), Zack Kassian (undisclosed), Joakim Nygard (undisclosed), Kris Russell (lower body)

No changes tonight, and that includes in goal, where Thatcher Demko will get the start again for the Canucks. Jack Rathbone will be back in after making his NHL debut on Tuesday night.

GAME DAY CHATTER

Earlier today the AHL made it official, the Utica Comets are moving to Abbotsford.

While I am happy that the Canucks will finally have their farm team in the same time zone, I think we cannot say enough about what a fantastic job they did in Utica, and the support the community showed the team.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Every once in a while I stumble across a video that I never knew existed for a song I love, and today it was “The Feeling’s Back” by SUICIDAL TENDENCIES. This one was from their ‘How Will I Laugh Tomorrow... When I Can’t Even Smile Today’ album.

Enjoy the game. Go Canucks Go. Fire Jim Benning.