VANCOUVER CANUCKS (0-3-0) vs COLUMBUS (0-3-0)
NATIONWIDE ARENA, COLUMBUS, OH
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: JACKETS CANNON
Ah yes, the joy of being a Vancouver Canucks fan. While the team quietly unveiled a new slogan this week, it truly feels like it should have been ‘It Can Always Get Worse’. And after an inexcusable performance Saturday in Philadelphia, it appeared that the Canucks had gotten the message. They held their own in the first, and looked absolutely dominant in the second period. And then... it got worse.
One of the most gut-wrenchingly brutal third period collapses we’ve seen from this team (and believe me, that’s saying something). And to add insult to injury, the winning goal was set up by a guy who had no business still being in that hockey game. Evgeni Kuznetsov’s two hand slash to the face of Kyle Burroughs should have earned him a match penalty, but a gutless officiating crew gave him a mere two minutes for high sticking.
As if whacking Burroughs in the face with his stick wasn’t enough, Kuznetsov made sure to give him an extra little shot. That whack should be a suspension. #Canucks #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/I3DrWev3De— Grady Sas (@GradySas) October 18, 2022
He helped set up the game winner, and as a final slap in the face, the Department of Player Safety handed Kuznetsov a laughable one game suspension today.
Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov has been suspended for one game for High-sticking Vancouver’s Kyle Burroughs. https://t.co/gzZyQma5Gn— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 18, 2022
So that’s an NHL record three consecutive multi-goal lead games blown to start the year for the Canucks. There has to be a bright spot somewhere, right? Well, how about the fact the team they’re playing is struggling even worse than the Canucks?
The Columbus Blue Jackets shocked the hockey world this summer when they signed one of the biggest available free agents, luring Johnny Gaudreau away from Calgary to sign a big deal to be a Blue Jacket. The Johnny Gaudreau era in Columbus is not off to a good start. The team has a mere five goals in their first three games, and they sit in last place in the Eastern Conference.
One of two things will happen tonight. It could be that the Canucks explode against CBJ, taking out their frustrations and lighting up Elvis Merzlikins in the Columbus net tonight, getting their first win of the year, the 600th career win for Bruce Boudreau and allowing Canucks Nation to breathe a collective sigh of relief. Or... it could get worse. How bad could this one go? Let’s just say if Erik Gudbranson scores tonight, you can come and acknowledge that I called it.
Courtesy of nhl.com, the lineup for this game was originally found in a previously undiscovered Shakespeare manuscript. No, not William. Eddie Shakespeare (no relation):
Canucks projected lineup
Vasily Podkolzin — J.T. Miller — Conor Garland
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Brock Boeser
Andrei Kuzmenko — Elias Pettersson — Curtis Lazar
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)
Blue Jackets projected lineup
Johnny Gaudreau — Boone Jenner — Gustav Nyquist
Yegor Chinakhov — Cole Sillinger — Jakub Voracek
Justin Danforth — Jack Roslovic — Kent Johnson
Eric Robinson — Sean Kuraly — Mathieu Olivier
Vladislav Gavrikov — Nick Blankenburg
Scratched: Liam Foudy, Adam Boqvist
Injured: Patrik Laine (elbow sprain), Joonas Korpisalo (hip)
GAME DAY CHATTER
"Work and passion are the things we need to bring tonight."— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 18, 2022
Kyle Burroughs ahead of today's game in Columbus@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/RnTQEut0s4
"It'll come down to who wants it more and who's willing to pay the price more."— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 18, 2022
Coach Bruce Boudreau on facing the Blue Jackets@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/R3arvpm06U
The gospel of Luke (Schenn). Hopefully, his Canucks teammates are listening. pic.twitter.com/IvFLZR7owX— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) October 18, 2022
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
I’d been thinking about this song a lot recently after it popped up on a playlist I had on at work the other day. One of the truly underrated rock songs of the 80’s, this track from the late Gary Moore showcased both his impressive skills as a guitarist as well as a great marriage of the sounds of his Northern Irish heritage. Still one of my favorite songs to this day.
Enjoy the game, if that’s at all possible. Go Canucks Go.