Do you remember where you were on December 4th, 2021.
On that fateful night, the Canucks were defeated 4-1 by the Pittsburgh Penguins. They were outshot 44-23 and looked dreadful throughout most of the contest.
Boos reigned down. A jersey was thrown on the ice.
The next day, Jim Benning and Travis Green were dismissed.
If that was a blessing in disguise, that blessing looks awfully muted right now.
Here’s hoping that tonight’s contest is a little closer — and less cataclysmic — compared to the last time these teams met at Rogers Arena.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (4-2-1) vs. VANCOUVER CANUCKS (1-5-2)
ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER BC. 7:00 PM PST
TV: SN PACIFIC/SN1/SN360. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: PENSBURG
I know we started off this preview on such an optimistic note, but this feels like a schedule loss for the Canucks.
They’re playing in the second of back-to-backs, with their backup, Spencer Martin, likely to start.
Pittsburgh on the other hand, hasn’t played last Tuesday. They’ll also be looking to get off the schneid after dropping two straight in regulation to the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.
Before those contests, they hadn’t lost in regulation, beginning the season with a 4-0-1 record.
JT Miller — Bo Horvat — Conor Garland
Ilya Mikheyev — Elias Pettersson — Andrei Kuzmenko
Tanner Pearson — Sheldon Dries — Nils Hoglander
Dakota Joshua — Nils Aman — Vasily Podkolzin
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Tyler Myres
Jack Rathbone — Kyle Burroughs
Guillaume Brisebois — Luke Schenn
Starting Goalie: Spencer Martin (expected)
Backup: Thatcher Demko
Scratched: Jack Studnicka, Ethan Bear, Noah Juulsen
Injured: Quinn Hughes (lower body), Tucker Poolman (undisclosed), Travis Dermott (concussion), Riley Stillman (undisclosed), Brock Boeser (undisclosed), Curtis Lazar (undisclosed)
Will Lockwood was sent to the minors earlier today in order to make room on the roster for Ethan Bear.
No update has been made on JT Miller’s availability after the shot block lat night. It’s fair to assume he’ll play until the team makes an update otherwise.
Bryan Rust — Sidney Crosby — Rickard Rakell
Danton Heinen — Evgeni Malkin — Jeff Carter
Brock McGinn — Sam Poulin — Kasperi Kapanen
Drake Caggiula — Ryan Poehling — Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin — Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson — Jeff Petry
Pierre-Olivier Joseph — Jan Rutta
Starting Goaltender: Tristan Jarry (expected)
Backup: Casey DeSmith
Scratched: Chad Ruhwedel
Injured: Jason Zucker (undisclosed), Jake Guentzel (undisclosed), Teddy Blueger (upper-body)
Jake Guentzel was at the Penguins optional morning skate, but it sounds like he won’t play tonight. That would be a massive break for the Canucks.
Not only is Guentzel a damn good hockey player, but he’s been an absolute Canuck killer. Guentzel had three goals and four points the last time Pittsburgh played at Rogers Arena.
For his career, Guentzel had 12 goals and 19 points in just 10 games against the Canucks.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Hey, it might look like a scheduled loss, but the Canucks did show signs of life last night.
That’s why they play the games.