There are no easy games in the NHL.
Well, not if you’re the Vancouver Canucks, that is.
This week however will really tell us what the Canucks are made of.
After winning two consecutive games for just the second time this season, the Canucks will try to win their third in a row for the first time in 2022-23 tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (14-4-1) vs. VANCOUVER CANUCKS (6-9-3)
ROGERS ARENA. VANCOUVER, BC. 7:30 PM PST
TV: SN PACIFIC /// RADIO: SN650
OPPOSITION BLOG: KNIGHTS ON ICE
The Canucks will play Vegas twice this week, with a road game against Colorado sandwiched in the little.
One of the low points for the Canucks last season, ironically, was a three-game November road trip, featuring contests against the Avalanche and Golden Knights. The Canucks were outscored 14-5 in those two losses.
With the Canucks season already in peril, a better showing against two of the better teams in hockey is crucial — unless they truly are trying to enter the Connor Bedard sweepstakes.
And theoretically, the “easiest” game of the three should be the one tonight, considering it’s the only one of the three that’s played on home ice.
Vegas has lost three of their last four games, including a 4-3 overtime loss at the hands of Connor McJesus and the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. Expect a pissed-off Golden Knights team to enter the battle at Rogers Arena tonight.
JT Miller — Bo Horvat — Conor Garland
Andrei Kuzmenko — Elias Pettersson — Ilya Mikheyev
Vasily Podkolzin — Sheldon Dries — Brock Boeser
Dakota Joshua — Nils Aman — Curtis Lazar
Quinn Hughes — Luke Schenn
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Ethan Bear
Riley Stillman — Tyler Myers
Starting goalie: Thatcher Demko (unconfirmed)
Backup: Spencer Martin
Scratched: Nils Hoglander, Jack Rathbone, Kyle Burroughs
Injured: Tucker Poolman (LTIR), Travis Dermott (LTIR), Tanner Pearson (hand), Jack Studnicka (lower body)
Based on the morning skate, the only change appears to be that Vasily Podkolzin gets back into the lineup in place of Nils Hoglander.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Chandler Stephenson — Jack Eichel — Mark Stone
Reilly Smith — William Karlsson — Jon Marchessault
Paul Cotter — Michael Amadio — Phil Kessel
William Carrier — Brett Howden — Keegan Kolesar
Alec Martinez — Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb — Shea Theodore
Nic Hague — Zach Whitecloud
Starting goalie: Logan Thompson (unconfirmed)
Backup: Adin Hill
Scratched: Ben Hutton, Jake Leschyshyn
Injured: Nicolas Roy (lower body), Robin Lehner (LTIR), Nolan Patrick (LTIR)
Best guess as of writing is that Logan Thompson starts tonight after Adin Hill let in four goals on 23 shots during the Golden Knights’ loss to Edmonton on Saturday.
Thompson has been spectacular for Vegas this season. He has a 9-3-0 record with a 2.27 GAA and a .925 save percentage.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
This is more of a good vibes hymn than a battle hymn (sorry, Kent) but the Canucks will probably need a little luck to bury a superior Golden Knights team at Rogers Arena tonight.
Enjoy the game, folks.