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Game Day Preview #41: Jan 12, 2023- Canucks @ Tampa Bay

You really have to hand it to the Canucks and their ability to find new ways to lose games. The next stop on the Magical Misery Tour is Tampa, and I am sure everything will be fine in this one. Mhm.

Vancouver Canucks v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (17-20-3) vs TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (25-13-1)

4:00 PM PST

AMALIE ARENA, TAMPA, FL

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC RADIO: SN650

What have we tried to stress about the Canucks for close to a decade now? It can, and will, get worse.

A 3-0 lead, and a chased starter just eight minutes into a road game sounds like a dream start for any team. Any team but the Vancouver Canucks, that is. To them, that is disaster waiting, and dog bless their little hearts, they didn’t drag out the misery to lose in the third, but had coughed up that lead before the end of the first period. It’s like they actually care about how we feel.

It’s just getting a little silly. All of this. How it keeps happening, year after year, after goddamn year, and nothing changes. The team is not as good as we’re told they should be, and when the losses begin to pile up, the same voices cry out about how negative media and fans are the problem. The cycle repeats itself, over and over. Bruce Boudreau and his coaching staff will get fired at some point, and the architects, who were supposed to come in and fix the disaster left by the last ones, will be blameless in the eyes of some, and most importantly, in the eyes of ownership. Admitting they were wrong means admitting he was wrong, and we should know by know that’s not in the Aquilini playbook.

I’m done being mad, or frustrated, or depressed, or anything about how this team plays until they actually make meaningful changes to address the issues that face this team, and believe me there are many of them. Until they decide to get serious about building a team that we can believe in, I choose not to. If they win? Great. If they lose? Great. And let’s face it, losses are far more valuable to this team right now than wins, because staying out of the playoffs, and being in play for a high draft pick are what they should be focused on.

They will face a Tampa team that has beaten them in four straight meetings, outscoring them by a 20-7 margin. The last time the Canucks beat the Lightning, was Oct of 2018, and it’s gonna be a shock if that changes tonight.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, here’s what we can expect on the ice tonight:

Canucks projected lineup

Andrei KuzmenkoElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

Conor GarlandBo HorvatJ.T. Miller

Dakota JoshuaCurtis LazarWilliam Lockwood

Ilya MikheyevLane PedersonJack Studnicka

Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Travis DermottTyler Myers

Riley StillmanEthan Bear

Collin Delia

Spencer Martin

Scratched: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Sheldon Dries, Kyle Burroughs

Injured: Thatcher Demko (lower body), Tanner Pearson (hand), Tucker Poolman (undisclosed)

Lightning projected lineup

Brandon HagelBrayden PointNikita Kucherov

Anthony CirelliSteven StamkosAlex Killorn

Pat MaroonNicholas PaulRoss Colton

Vladislav NamestnikovPierre-Edouard BellemareCorey Perry

Victor HedmanZach Bogosian

Ian ColeErik Cernak

Mikhail SergachevNick Perbix

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Haydn Fleury, Cal Foote

Injured: Rudolfs Balcers (upper body)

You had to expect there would be some kind of a lineup shuffle after that embarrassment in Pittsburgh Tuesday, and bow howdy, is making Oliver Ekman-Larsson a healthy scratch a way to send a message. The problem is that taking out OEL means putting Riley Stillman in, and oh lord, this one could get ugly. Lane Pederson also gets back into the lineup in place of Sheldon Dries. Collin Delia will try and shake off that horrendous outing in Winnipeg tonight going up against Andrei Vasilevskiy.

GAME DAY CHATTER

Bad news for Pearson, but potentially good news for the Canucks. Moving him onto LTIR would free up some cap space, and with the trade deadline approaching, any kind of added flexibility that can aid something that resembles a firesale would be welcomed.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

A new video from REVOCATION dropped yesterday off their 2022 ‘Netherheaven’ release. Check out the appropriately titled ‘Godforsaken’ and try and enjoy the game, eh?