VANCOUVER CANUCKS (0-2-0) vs WASHINGTON CAPITALS (1-2-0)
VERIZON CENTER, WASHINGTON, DC
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC, CITY TV. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: JAPERS RINK
2 games. 2 blown leads. 2 embarrassing power play performances. I don’t know about you, but I have already reached my limit of garbage efforts from this team. Irrational? Perhaps, but we’ve been sitting through a damn decade of near-unwatchable crap hockey from this franchise now. We’ve been told things would be different. To see them this unprepared, and unable to compete with a team that very likely to be in the thick of the Connor Bedard hunt this season is just so demoralizing.
I’m tired of watching this team be unable to hold a lead. To play rudimentary NHL level defence. To not take a too many men penalty seemingly every. Damn. Game. I can handle losses if they’re hard fought. Seriously, I have been watching this team for longer than some of you have been alive, and I am used to them being on the short end of the stick. As a team, I see nothing to suggest that they’re going to take a step forward right now. I don’t care how early in the season it is. If this team has something to prove, what the hell are they waiting for?
And this is not the Philadelphia Flyers they’re playing tonight, either. While the Washington Capitals may not be the beast that won the Cup a few years back, they’re still a team that can hold their own in a very tough division, and Alex Ovechkin is still going to score a ton of goals. With this being the first of a double header and the midway point of three games in four nights, we need to see not just a win, but an absolute, unmistakably emphatic victory tonight. Heading into Columbus tomorrow at 0-3-0 is just not an option.
Courtesy of nhl.com, this possible lineup scenario was scrawled on a napkin, and left on a crosstown bus.
Canucks projected lineup
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Brock Boeser
Andrei Kuzmenko — Elias Pettersson — Curtis Lazar
Vasily Podkolzin — J.T. Miller — Conor Garland
Dakota Joshua — Nils Aman — Nils Hoglander
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Kyle Burroughs
Scratched: Jack Rathbone
Injured: Travis Dermott (concussion), Tyler Myers (lower body), Ilya Mikheyev (undisclosed), Tucker Poolman (illness)
Capitals projected lineup
Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Connor Brown
Anthony Mantha — Connor McMichael — T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson — Lars Eller — Aliaksei Protas
Conor Sheary — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway
Martin Fehervary — John Carlson
Erik Gustafsson — Trevor van Riemsdyk
Scratched: Joe Snively, Matt Irwin
Injured: Nicklas Backstrom (hip), Tom Wilson (lower body), Carl Hagelin (hip, eye), Evgeny Kuznetsov (undisclosed)
With Tucker Poolman out of the lineup, Noah Juulsen will make his season debut tonight on the third pairing.
The way Bruce Boudreau explained it, feels like Canucks will go with Noah Juulsen over Jack Rathbone in Poolman’s spot tonight. Noted how WAS is big physical team and VAN is missing size w Poolman and Myers out.— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) October 17, 2022
Excellent sign for player and team that Tucker Poolman is back on the ice this morning for optional skate, given seriousness of migraine complications last year. Boudreau said Poolman won’t play tonight, but if he emerges from skate feeling well, could play TUE vs CBJ.— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) October 17, 2022
And based on the morning skate, Bruce Boudreau has done a fairly noticeable shakeup of the forward lines, especially with the message being sent to J.T. Miller after what has to be one of his worst as a Vancouver Canuck.
GAME DAY CHATTER
"Coming in last year and getting to meet all the guys here, helped me adjust to this year...Everyone's been welcoming."— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 17, 2022
Noah Juulsen on getting called up from Abbotsford@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/5HwWTs8Rph
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
We’re off to Costa Rica today for a track off ‘Common Sense’ by CHEMICIDE, with an absolutely blistering cover of POISON IDEA’s ‘It’s An Action’.
Enjoy the game, folks. Go Canucks Go.