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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME SEVENTY-EIGHT: Canucks @ Minnesota- Apr 21, 2022

It’s probably our fault for thinking it was okay to have hope again. That, or the Canucks are truly cursed. Maybe a combination of both?

NHL: MAR 24 Canucks at Wild

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (38-28-11) vs MINNESOTA WILD (48-21-7)

XCEL ENERGY CENTER, SAINT PAUL, MN

5:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: HOCKEY WILDERNESS

While it wasn’t the worst case scenario, it was pretty damn close. A shootout loss, a goaltender injury and an LA Kings regulation win last night erased all of the progress made in that six game win streak, and leaves the Canucks on the brink of elimination. I can’t help but think of a couple things about this loss. First, the insistence of Bruce Boudreau not playing Vasily Podkolzin at all in the OT and not letting him shoot was baffling to say the least. And second, this game and the back to back scenario was created when the league and the Canucks rescheduled the game when it was clear that they would have to play the original date in an empty Rogers Arena.

As is the way with this team, it’s never a simple explanation for anything that happens to them, and that game was no exception. The starting goaltender, Jaroslav Halak, stopped all 14 shots he faced in the first, but injured his hand at some point and could not continue. So that meant that Thatcher Demko’s night off was over, but why was he even backing up in the first place?

So they thought Demko was not able to back up, and recalled Martin. Then, the situation changes and they cancel it and send him back. At one point in the day, whatever was going on with Demko was serious enough to make the emergency recall. Hindsight being what it is and all that, it would have been fine to just keep things like that, given Martin’s play this season, and at the very least, he’s a rested goaltender as opposed to Demko. And, if this game goes to the shootout, at least you don’t get the Adam Gaudette winner because he knows how to beat the goaltender, because they likely know little about Martin.

At the end of the day, it’s just a typical Canucks moment. Win the one big game against a better team, then fall into the trap against the gawd awful one, with the added humiliation of a cast off, who hadn’t seen the ice since the second period, stealing the point and getting to mug for the crowd. Canucks fandom is full of moments like this. We’re so accustomed to it that it barely registers anymore.

So now, here’s the deal with the remaining games, and what it would take for them to get into the playoffs:

And after last night’s good news, bad news on the out of town scoreboard, the odds of them making this a reality are getting back into the astronomical range again. Yes, the Oilers did us a solid by taking down Dallas, but this whole letting Vegas win in OT Washington did last night was not cool. Not cool at all. Dicks.

Anyway...

So much of these different scenarios counts on better teams with easier schedules screwing up. It’s not a good spot to be in, but they have themselves to blame.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, this is what the disasterpiece is gonna look like tonight:

Canucks projected lineup

Brock BoeserElias PetterssonConor Garland

Vasily PodkolzinJ.T. MillerAlex Chiasson

Jason DickinsonJuho LammikkoMatthew Highmore

William LockwoodBrad RichardsonSheldon Dries

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Brad HuntTravis Dermott

Thatcher Demko

Spencer Martin

Scratched: Kyle Burroughs, Nic Petan

Injured: Jaroslav Halak (upper body), Bo Horvat (lower body), Tanner Pearson (upper body), Tucker Poolman (upper body), Nils Hoglander (lower body)

Wild projected lineup

Kirill KaprizovRyan HartmanMats Zuccarello

Kevin FialaFrederick GaudreauMatt Boldy

Nicolas DeslauriersJoel Eriksson EkNick Bjugstad

Brandon DuhaimeConnor DewarMitchell Chaffee

Jacob MiddletonJared Spurgeon

Jonas BrodinDmitry Kulikov

Jon MerrillAlex Goligoski

Cam Talbot

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Jordie Benn

Injured: Matt Dumba (upper body), Jordan Greenway (upper body), Tyson Jost (lower body)

COVID-19 protocol: Marcus Foligno

Alex Chiasson makes his return to the lineup tonight, and hopefully he’ll continue on the tear he’s been on of late.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Need a little inspiration tonight, so how about some BC metal royalty? This past weekend was the third edition of the Hyperspace Festival in Vancouver, and Regina progressive death metallers INTO ETERNITY (featuring BC boy Stu Block) brought out 3 INCHES OF BLOOD screamer Cam Pipes for a wicked version of ‘Destroy The Orcs’, an old school 3IOB classic, so crank this one and send some good vibes to Minny for the boys tonight!

Enjoy the game, everyone! Go Canucks Go! Slava Ukraini!