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Game Day Preview And Game Thread #30: Dec 14/22- Canucks vs Winnipeg

After a shootout win in Calgary, the Canucks are back home for the first of three straight. Will they be without Elias Pettersson as they take on the Jets for the first time this season?

Winnipeg Jets v Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (13-13-3) vs WINNIPEG JETS (19-9-1)

ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC

7PM PST

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.

LINEUPS

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)

CANUCKS

Garland-Horvat-Lazar

Mikheyev-Miller-Kuzmenko

Höglander-Pederson-Dries

Joshua-Åman-Studnicka

Hughes-Bear

OEL-Schenn

Stillman-Myers

Martin

JETS

Perfetti-Scheifele-Kuhlman

Connor-Dubois-Gagner

Barron-Lowry-Harkins

Gustafsson-Stenlund-Jonsson-Fjallby

Morrissey-DeMelo

Dillon-Pionk

Capobianco-Samberg

Hellebuyck

Oh, good. More Riley Stillman. So much for that improved defensive play.

GAME DAY CHATTER

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!