ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SN360, SN PACIFIC, SN EAST, SN ONTARIO. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: ANAHEIM CALLING
They almost let it slip away in San Jose Thursday night, thanks to some bad penalty killing and bad bounces, but JT Miller continues to be the leader of this team with another OT winner as the Canucks moved to within three points of tonight’s opponent, the Anaheim Ducks.
Early in the season, the Ducks looked as though they were the real deal, and while they have some impressive youngsters, they’ve fallen back to earth and out of a playoff spot. It’s a rare game against an opponent who doesn’t hold games in hand on them, and a regulation win will be crucial down the stretch, as the Ducks have one less ROW than the Canucks at the moment.
With the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline now thirty days away, how the Canucks perform over those next four weeks is going to directly affect what they do trade-wise. After tonight they have two home games left in February: Monday against Seattle and Thursday as Calgary rolls into town. They then finish the month on the road, with a back to back against the Rangers and Devils, then start March with visits to the Islanders and Toronto before returning home. To stay in the hunt, they’ll likely need to win 5 of those 7 games, not an easy feat, but it’s doable if they get the goaltending they need. One good thing is that they’re getting healthy again, and having Quinn Hughes back in the lineup is definitely going to help.
The Ducks aren’t too banged up, though their decline might have something to do with Ryan Getzlaf’s lengthy stint on the IR. The Canucks are back to just Tucker Poolman out, still suffering from headaches, and the two LTIRs Brady Keeper and Brandon Sutter.
The next three games are massive for the Canucks. All against Pacific Division rivals, and they’ll need to run the table before that road trip to keep this improbable playoff push alive into March. They managed a win against the Sharks, but gave up a point in the process, something they have to avoid in these next three games.
Courtesy of nhl.com, tonight’s disasterpiece should go a lil somethin’ like this...
Ducks projected lineup
Canucks projected lineup
GAME DAY CHATTER
"This is a pretty important game for both teams, I would think. To me, it has got playoff atmosphere written all over it."— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) February 19, 2022
️ Bruce Boudreau on tonight's game against Anaheim #Canucks | @TheProvince pic.twitter.com/cIhDPk4v4D
"It's a good test to see where we are at as a group. We understand the importance of this game and every game coming up. Another easy game for us to get up for."— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) February 19, 2022
️ J.T. Miller #Canucks | @theprovince pic.twitter.com/belgv42exg
Ready to rival as the loudest crowd in the NHL— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) February 19, 2022
Rogers Arena is back at full capacity and the atmosphere will no doubt live up to expectations! pic.twitter.com/RvxymQqsK9
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Spanish thrashers CRISIX put out a re-done version of a song from their ‘Pizza EP’ released last year, bringing in members from some of the best of the new breed of thrash metal. WNM United features guest vocals from John Kevill (Warbringer), Poney (Violator), Nick (Suicidal Angels), Philly (Gama Bomb), Diva Satánica (Nervosa), G. Izquierdo (Angelus Apatrida), JB (Bonded By Blood), Lenny (Dust Bolt), Rick (Fueled By Fire), and Kevin (Insanity Alert) as well as a cameo from TESTAMENT’s Chuck Billy. Love to see the scene unity, man.
Enjoy the game, folks. Go Canucks Go!