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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME FORTY-NINE: Canucks vs Toronto- Feb 12, 2022

The fans are pretty vocal these days: the star players aren’t doing enough, the defence stinks and the goaltending may not be the answer. But enough about the Leafs, let’s talk about the Canucks!

Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (21-21-6) vs TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (30-11-3)

ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC

4:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: PENSION PLAN PUPPETS

It’s the annual visit from the Leafs, and HNIC gets to pretend it gives a crap about the Canucks for one afternoon. Huzzah, and bless Canada’s team for gracing us with their presence. And yet, in spite of what would look like a pretty decent season to even the most casual of observers, Leafs Nation seems to complain about their team. A lot. As much as we complain about the Canucks a lot. And buddy, we wish we had your problems.

The Leafs have been fairly consistent all season long, and while not without their flaws, they should definitely be looked at as a contender in the East. We know as well as anyone that dragons can be slayed, and it should not come as a shock if they advance past the first round this season. The trade deadline looms, and I am sure they’ll make some deals to load up for the absolute grind that the Eastern Conference playoffs will be this season.

The Canucks are coming off the most frustrating loss of the Bruce Boudreau era, one that saw Jaroslav Halak give up 5 first period goals in a 6-3 loss on Wednesday night. With better goaltending, they have a shot at this game, and they cannot afford another performance like that from Halak, both for their playoff aspirations, and for Halak’s potential trade value with the deadline approaching.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, here’s what today’s disasterpiece will proabably look like:

Maple Leafs projected lineup

Michael BuntingAuston MatthewsMitchell Marner

Alexander KerfootJohn TavaresWilliam Nylander

Ilya MikheyevDavid KampfOndrej Kase

Pierre EngvallJason SpezzaWayne Simmonds

Morgan RiellyTJ Brodie

Jake MuzzinJustin Holl

Rasmus SandinTimothy Liljegren

Petr Mrazek

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Travis Dermott

Injured: None

Canucks projected lineup

J.T. MillerBo HorvatBrock Boeser

Vasily PodkolzinElias PetterssonNils Hoglander

Tanner PearsonJason DickinsonConor Garland

Tyler MotteJuho LammikkoAlex Chiasson

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Kyle BurroughsLuke Schenn

Brad HuntNoah Juulsen

Thatcher Demko

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Ashton Sautner, Matthew Highmore

Injured: Tucker Poolman (headaches), Travis Hamonic (lower body), Brady Keeper (leg), Brandon Sutter (illness)

COVID-19 protocol: Quinn Hughes

Quinn Hughes is still not off the COVID list, and that’s a huge gap on the back end for the Canucks. Travis Hamonic will be a gametime decision, and if he can’t go, we’ll see Noah Juulsen again. Matthew Highmore is out of COVID protocol and if he’s ready to go will likely replace Alex Chiasson. Thatcher Demko gets the start for the Canucks against Petr Mrazek.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DY BATTLE HYMN

Today we’re giving you a JUDAS PRIEST classic recorded this past summer at BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR, one of the UK’s biggest metalfests. It’s a little jarring seeing recent footage without masks and stuff, but this is a wicked performance featuring everyone’s gay metal grandpa, Rob Halford. They’re touring North America, resuming their 50th anniversary tour that had to be postponed last year, so if you get a chance to score some tickets, do it!

Enjoy the game and then hopefully you can find something to do with the rest of your evening after they beat the Leafs, eh?

Go Canucks Go!