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GAME DAY PREVIEW- Game Forty Nine: Canucks @ Edmonton

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Which one of you asked “Can this season get any stupider?” because honestly you should all know better than this by now?

Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (20-25-3) vs EDMONTON OILERS (32-18-2)

ROGERS PLACE- EDMONTON, AB

7:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET, CBC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: THE COPPER AND BLUE

You have to give the script writers on this season full marks for pushing the limits of credulity when it comes to what perils the Canucks have endured. I mean who had suspensions being an issue after the team returned from a brutal bout with COVID?

And I suppose I don’t really care to put the energy into debating whether or not Zack MacEwan’s suspension was deserved, but for the DoPS to give that a game, but Tom “I’m moving on from this” Wilson only got a fine (not to mention the assorted crap the Oilers were doing all night going largely unpenalized) just goes to show the league is it’s own worst enemy. And those MMA takedowns? They need to be taken out of the game. That will be what gets someone’s career ended, and it’s a miracle that already hasn’t happened.

So as long as the Leafs keep owning the Habs, and the Canucks some how manage to win again, this fever dream of a miraculous playoff appearance stays alive. It would be nice to see someone hit a milestone against some other team for a change, but the hockey gods have ensured that Connor McDavid hits the 100 point mark against the Canucks on Hockey Night In Canada because of course they have.

In the meantime, the scenario is still pretty messed up: 8 games in the next 12 days. More injuries are certain to come. And then we wait and see if the Aqualini’s are happy with this mess. I think they tell Jim to fire Green and he gets a pass again. Why would anyone think different?

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, this is what we’re being subjected to tonight if we watch this game:

Canucks projected lineup

Nils HoglanderJ.T. MillerBrock Boeser

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatKole Lind

Jimmy VeseyTravis BoydMarc Michaelis

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

Suspended: Zack MacEwen

Oilers projected lineup

Dominik KahunConnor McDavidJesse Puljujarvi

Ryan Nugent-HopkinsLeon DraisaitlKailer Yamamoto

James NealRyan McLeodAlex Chiasson

Devin ShoreJujhar KhairaJosh Archibald

Darnell NurseTyson Barrie

William LagessonAdam Larsson

Caleb JonesEthan Bear

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen

Scratched: Alex Stalock, Evan Bouchard

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

Mark Michaelis is going to slot in for MacEwan tonight. Michaelis had missed the last 8 games with an upper body injury, and that shows you just how badly they don’t want to resort to putting Loui Eriksson into the lineup tonight. Or ever again. Thatcher Demko is back in tonight after an outstanding 39 save performance on Thursday night. And Mike Smith, who came on in relief of Mikko Koskinen after the Finnish netminder gave up 4 on 4 shots in the first period Thursday, will start for the Oilers.

GAME DAY CHATTER

Gotta say, seeing Graovac and Jack Rathbone get their first goals, as well as number 10 from Nils Hoglander and Brock Boeser’s 20th was a pretty cool part of that game, as well as Hamonic’s first as a Canuck.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

ANTHRAX are currently celebrating their 40th anniversary as a band, and have an awesome multi-part series on youtube about the band’s history. If you’re a fan, you should definitely check it out. In the meantime, let’s go back to the early days. This is off their 2nd demo, one of the songs that would make it onto their legendary debut album ‘Fistful Of Metal’. Check out ‘Panic’, and try and enjoy the game. Go Canucks Go.