VANCOUVER CANUCKS (17-18-3) vs NASHVILLE PREDATORS (24-12-3)
BRIDGESTONE ARENA, NASHVILLE, TN
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: ON THE FORECHECK
With the Canucks spiraling in a three game losing streak that showed how wide the gap is between themselves and the best teams in the NHL, their best players showed up in a big way, none bigger than Elias Pettersson, who snapped a long pointless drought with a couple huge goals to help them take down Washington 4-2 Sunday afternoon.
One last formidable foe on this road trip as they pull into Nashville for their second meeting of the season against the Predators. Unfortunately for Vancouver, the guy who was instrumental in their last win in Washington, is now in COVID protocol.
The Vancouver Canucks announced today that forward Bo Horvat has been placed into the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.— Canucks PR (@CanucksPR) January 18, 2022
It’s definitely a blow, as Horvat had been one one of their best performers in the past couple matches. It also means they’ll need to abandon the Elias Pettersson: Winger project for the time being, just when it was starting to succeed.
The last time these teams met, the Canucks had a 2-1 lead for all of around three minutes in the second period, and found themselves trailing a goal after forty. The Preds are a bit of a surprise so far this season, and no Pred has been more of a revelation for them than Matt Duchene. He’s second in team scoring and goals scored, and a big part of why they’re back to being a contender again this season. The goaltending they’re getting from Juuse Saros isn’t hurting either, though with Saros playing last night, they’ll likely go with a goalie the Canucks are a little more familiar with, David Rittich.
They’re also getting an impressive amount of offence from their third line. Colton Sissons, Tanner Jeannot and Yakov Trenin have combined for 27 goals so far this campaign, while the third line of Tyler Motte, Juho Lammikko and Matthew Highmore have a whole 6 goals, though to be fair Highmore and Motte both missed a significant chunk of time so far. Still, this is something that good teams have, and the Canucks need if they hope to contend.
Courtesy of nhl.com, this is what you’ll get for lines tonight, whether you like it or not. Maybe.
Canucks projected lineup
Tanner Pearson — J.T. Miller — Brock Boeser
Vasily Podkolzin — Elias Pettersson — Nils Hoglander
Tyler Motte — Juho Lammikko — Matthew Highmore
Justin Dowling — Jason Dickinson — Alex Chiasson
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Tyler Myers
Scratched: Brad Hunt
Injured: Guillaume Brisebois (undisclosed), Travis Harmonic (lower body), Brady Keeper (leg), Brandon Sutter (illness)
COVID-19 protocol: Jaroslav Halak, Conor Garland, Bo Horvat
Predators projected lineup
Filip Forsberg — Mikael Granlund — Matt Duchene
Nick Cousins — Ryan Johansen — Luke Kunin
Yakov Trenin — Colton Sissons — Tanner Jeannot
Philip Tomasino — Michael McCarron — Eeli Tolvanen
Roman Josi — Alexandre Carrier
Mark Borowiecki — Philippe Myers
Scratched: Ben Harpur
Injured: Dante Fabbro (upper body)
COVID-19 protocol: Mattias Ekholm
GAME DAY CHATTER
“They’re a resilient group. As much as we love playing at home, they’re a pretty good road team…They care about winning.”— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 18, 2022
Coach Bruce Boudreau on the #Canucks playing 9 road games in a row#Canucks | @theprovince pic.twitter.com/n4OYEvQbgK
“Always fun to play here. Expecting it to be a hard fought game…It’s an easy game to get up for. It’s going to be fun.”— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 18, 2022
J.T. Miller talks with the media ahead of tonight's game in Nashville#Canucks | @theprovince pic.twitter.com/P8focJTXOw
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
In my years long quest to bring you new and interesting bands, I sometimes stumble across some real gems, and LAHAR from Czechia are one worth seeking out. They’re old school, D.I.Y. crossover and while the lyrics and song titles are in Czech, moshing is a universal language. Crank this one and enjoy the game.
Go Canucks Go!