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GAME DAY PREVIEW/GAME THREAD- GAME SEVENTY-ONE: Canucks @ Vegas- Apr 6, 2022

The Canucks need a double digit winning streak to make the playoffs. Easy peasy, right? Paging Bubble Demko...

Vancouver Canucks v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (32-28-10) vs VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (39-28-4)

ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC

7:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC, SN360. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: KNIGHTS ON ICE

The math is as simple as it is bleak. Win and they’re in. All twelve remaining games. So, there’s not anyone who actually thinks this is possible, right? I feel like believing the Canucks, even totally healthy, could pull this off, is about as deluded as still defending Jim Benning.

So we move into lame duck territory, with the proverbial Sword of Damocles that is elimination from the NHL’s post-season hanging over their heads, the only realistic things left to cheer for are personal bests from players like JT Miller and Bo Horvat, along with the spoiling of other teams playoff aspirations. And that brings us to tonight’s opponents, the Vegas Golden Knights. As we’ve mentioned before, the hockey world needs, NEEDS, this cocky, entitled franchise and fan base to sit this one out, and winning the two games they have against the Golden Knights will give that a chance at reality.

The problem is that the task at hand continues to get more difficult. Already missing Nils Hoglander, Matthew Highmore and Tucker Poolman, they’ll also be without Quinn Hughes tonight, barring some miraculous recovery from the illness that is making its way through the team’s room right now. It already saw Bo Horvat leave a game early and miss another one, and to head into a huge game, their season on the line, and not have their best defenceman in the lineup seems like a sign it’s gonna be a bad night.

The Golden Knights put up seven against Vancouver the last time these teams met in Vegas back in November, so obviously a better goaltending effort from Thatcher Demko tonight is pretty much the game plan. With a diminished lineup, the re-emergence of Bubble Demko, who damn near stole the series against Vegas two years ago, has to happen tonight.

So, is there anything good to tell you heading into this one? Well, Kyle Burroughs will make his return to the lineup tonight. Burroughs has missed the last 19 games with broken ribs suffered in that 7-4 loss to Anaheim on Feb 19th. They’ve also made a call to Abbotsford for reinforcements:

Rathbone, who started the year in Vancouver before getting sent down, has been phenomenal for the Abby Canucks this season, putting up 8-25-33 in 30 games, and has been an important part of the AHL Canucks’ quest to make the playoffs in their inaugural season.

LINEUPS

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Brand new MUNICIPAL WASTE for ya today! Last week the Richmond, VA thrashers announced their seventh album ‘Electrified Brain’ will be released July 1st, and dropped the first song from it, called ‘Grave Dive’. Check it out, and enjoy the game tonight. Go Canucks Go! Slava Ukraini!