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Game Day Preview #35: Dec 29/22- Canucks @ Winnipeg

Fresh off a third straight win, the Canucks head to Winnipeg, and a chance for a little payback against the Jets.

Vancouver Canucks v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (16-15-3) vs WINNIPEG JETS (21-13-1)

CANADA LIFE CENTRE, WINNIPEG, MB

5:00 PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC RADIO: SN650

The last time these teams met, the Jets laid a pretty embarrassing beatdown on a Canucks team that was actually feeling pretty good after coming out of Calgary with a win just a couple of nights earlier. That game would be the first of back to back 5-1 losses in which the Canucks looked utterly hopeless.

Since then, the Canucks have rattled off three straight wins, scoring 17 times. A team that’s been struggling with confidence issues all season long, they have to be feeling good as they head into this two game road swing that will see them take on the Jets tonight and then a return to Calgary to round out 2022 against the Flames Saturday night.

One thing that should help them tonight, is if they play defence the way they did against San Jose and Edmonton. These past couple games were among the better complete games we’ve seen from this team so far, but let’s be fair: neither of those teams can play D like the Jets, so it will be a nice measuring stick to see if the Canucks truly are worthy of making an attempt for the Wild Card spot they’re inching closer to.

The Jets meanwhile have lost three straight, and will be looking to try and recreate some of the magic they had in Vancouver 12 days ago. They’ve definitely cooled off of late, winners of just four of their last ten, but are a much better team on home ice than on the road. They’ll look to boost their middle of the pack PP stats against the Canucks, whose PK this season has been legendary for all the wrong reasons.

LINEUPS

This was found in the back of a cab, left behind by someone looking for Winnipeg’s airport... or maybe just off nhl.com:

Canucks projected lineup

Ilya MikheyevBo HorvatBrock Boeser

Conor GarlandJ.T. MillerCurtis Lazar

Andrei KuzmenkoElias PetterssonLane Pederson

Dakota JoshuaNils AmanJack Studnicka

Quinn HughesEthan Bear

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Travis DermottLuke Schenn

Spencer Martin

Collin Delia

Scratched: Sheldon Dries, Kyle Burroughs, Riley Stillman

Injured: Thatcher Demko (lower body), Tanner Pearson (hand), Tucker Poolman (undisclosed)

Jets projected lineup

Kyle ConnorPierre-Luc DuboisSam Gagner

Adam LowryMark ScheifeleKarson Kuhlman

Morgan BarronKevin StenlundAxel Jonsson-Fjallby

Michael EyssimontDavid GustafssonJansen Harkins

Josh MorrisseyDylan DeMelo

Dylan SambergNeal Pionk

Brenden DillonVille Heinola

Connor Hellebuyck

David Rittich

Scratched: Kyle Capobianco, Kristian Reichel

Injured: Nikolaj Ehlers (sports hernia), Mason Appleton (wrist), Saku Maenalanen (upper body), Logan Stanley (upper body), Nate Schmidt (upper body), Blake Wheeler (groin), Cole Perfetti (upper body)

One significant change for the Canucks, as we’ll see Travis Dermott make his season debut for the Canucks tonight. Dermott’s been out since April 29 after suffering a concussion, so it’s great to see him healthy and ready to go. The Jets are still banged up as hell, and missing some major pieces, but none of that matters if the Canucks cannot find a way to beat Connor Hellebuyck, who has absolutely owned the Canucks in his career thus far.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Always a sad day, as metalheads around the world remember the one and only Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmeister, who passed this day in 2015. The MOTORHEAD mainman was one of the most recognizable faces and voices in metal, and his influence will continue to be felt in generations of bands for whom MOTORHEAD laid out the blueprint. Pour a stiff one and have a drink for Lemmy, the loudest motherfucker to ever walk this earth.

Enjoy the game, folks! Go Canucks Go!