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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME SEVENTY-NINE: Canucks @ Calgary- Apr 23, 2022

It’s almost over.

Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (38-29-11) vs CALGARY FLAMES (48-20-10)

SCOTIABANK SADDLEDOME, CALGARY, AB

7:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET, CBC, CITY. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: MATCHSTICKS AND GASOLINE

I suppose it’s fitting that the game that could be the final nail in the coffin of this season comes against the team that has thrived on Jim Benning’s unforced errors. From Jacob Markstrom, to Chris Tanev and Tyler Toffoli, tonight is a reminder that it doesn’t matter how close the Canucks got, they were doomed to fail, and the failure should be tossed at Benning’s feet. It’s not as heart-breaking as missing the playoffs in a year where the expectations were high, mind you. After all, there were few that genuinely thought that this team would do anything, and their turn around once released from the shackles of the Benning/Green incompetence surprised everyone. If you’re saying that you knew they would do this, it’s intellectually dishonest.

That being said, another year of failure with nothing but a middling of the round draft selection to show for it is getting tiresome. The process of change isn’t going to happen overnight, tough decisions lie ahead, and the pain of supporting a below average hockey team isn’t done with us just yet.

On that happy note, let’s take a look at the better luck those former Nucks are having. Flames are 8-1-1 in their last 10, have a lock on the 1st seedy area in the division.

LINEUPS

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

Flames projected lineup

Johnny GaudreauElias LindholmMatthew Tkachuk

Andrew MangiapaneMikael BacklundTyler Toffoli

Dillon DubeCalle JarnkrokBlake Coleman

Milan LucicTrevor LewisBrett Ritchie

Noah HanifinRasmus Andersson

Oliver KylingtonChristopher Tanev

Nikita ZadorovErik Gudbranson

Dan Vladar

Dustin Wolf

Scratched: Jacob Markstrom, Adam Ruzicka, Ryan Carpenter, Michael Stone, Connor Mackey

Injured: None

Marky won’t be dropping his shoulder for Pete and JT tonight. That’s either a good or bad thing. Not that it matters anymore.

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)

Myers didn’t skate this morning after getting shaken up in the Minni game. He is expected to play on the little cowpatty ice.

Despite a broken nose from last game, Richi is going to play tonight - he’s not a mouth-breather by choice - but he is tough.

GAME DAY CHATTER

Bruce is going down fighting - expect he expects the beaten-up Nucks to not eliminate themselves, even if the siren call of early tee times is loud and too clear.

It’s been a fantastic run since December 5th - except, you know, those poor home games lost last month that cost the season. The season that had already been driven into the sub-basement by the previous JB/TG slowmo train wreck.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Fifth Angel - Fade To Flames

Could this be the most inappropriate hymn ever? Hope so. But not any more inappropriate than JB letting Nucks become Flames. For Free.

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