ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SPORTSNET, CBC, CITY. RADIO: SN650
It seemed as though the Canucks were going to follow a script we’d seen a number of times so far this season Wednesday night in Calgary: Get an early lead, only to blow it a short time later. And you can hardly blame anyone for not being too excited when they jumped out to a 2-0 lead less than two minutes into the contest.
What was different this time around, is that they didn’t shut down, and played one hell of a defensive game against a team desperate for a win on home ice, battling back to tie it and then got some fantastic goaltending from Spencer Martin, leading to the shootout win.
Unlike the struggling Flames, their opponent tonight are definitely a team that can be classified as one of the best so far this season. It feels as though the Winnipeg Jets aren’t getting talked about enough, but after an off-season coaching change, the Jets sit just two points behind Dallas for first in the Central, exactly like everyone predicted, right? Stranger still, is how they’ve done this with 187 year old Rick Bowness behind the bench.
So with this challenge facing the Canucks, the margin for error is extremely tight, and even more so if they were to say, oh I don’t know, not have their best players in the lineup tonight, right?
That, as they say, is less than ideal. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Winnipeg’s going through some similar issues tonight.
#NHLJets coach Rick Bowness says Blake Wheeler had a procedure yesterday, and will be out for the next four weeks.— Mitchell Clinton (@MitchellClinton) December 17, 2022
Inside each box of Frosted Nucks, you’ll find a projected starting lineup for a real NHL game, just like this one*
(*May or may not also be found on NHL.com)
Oh, good. More Riley Stillman. So much for that improved defensive play.
GAME DAY CHATTER
#NHLJets defenceman Nate Schmidt will be out 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury. Rick Bowness says the injury keeping Schmidt out that long isn’t a concussion.— Mitchell Clinton (@MitchellClinton) December 17, 2022
"Showing me good habits of being a good pro and working on little things to try and improve my game. He's been huge for me and I'm pretty excited that he's here."— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 17, 2022
Lane Pederson on how Luke Schenn has helped him over the years@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/3WkmODUHyx
"For myself, to be able to help him out here and push him a little bit. Give him a kick him in the butt at times and also help him out at times. Our whole family is pretty excited."— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 17, 2022
Luke Schenn on Lane Pederson getting called up@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/ZsaHNvgC1x
As much as it would be better to have Boeser and/or Pettersson in tonight, the Lane Pederson story is fantastic, and it would be so great to see this kid light it up the way he has since coming to Abbotsford from Carolina as part of the deal that brought Ethan Bear to the Canucks. Pederson has 17 goals in 18 games for the AHL Canucks, and on a line with Sheldon Dries and Nils Hoglander, they might be the ones to keep an eye on tonight.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Going back to one of my favorite releases this year is the most recent video from Costa Rican thrash maniacs CHEMICIDE. From the album ‘Common Sense’, this is ‘Strike As One’.
Enjoy the game, everyone! Go Canucks Go!