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Game Day Preview #42: Jan 14, 2023- Canucks @ Florida

The Magical Misery Tour heads south as the Canucks, fresh off another loss in Tampa, roll into Sunrise to take on the Panthers.

Vancouver Canucks v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (17-20-3) vs FLORIDA PANTHERS (19-20-4)

4:00 PM PST

FLA LIVE ARENA, SUNRISE, FL

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC, CITY RADIO: SN650

Another day, another blown lead, another loss. The draft lottery is slowly becoming a more realistic goal for the Canucks than any delusional playoff aspirations, and a loss in regulation for the Canucks today could not only help that cause, but make things a little more difficult for another team. No, not the Florida Panthers, but the team that holds Florida’s first round pick this season: the Montreal Canadiens.

Next to the Chicago Blackhawks (for obvious reasons) and the Arizona Coyotes (reasons also pretty obvious), the team I would least like to see snag that first overall pick is Montreal and their insufferable fanbase. So let’s cheer the Canucks on as they try and fall on their swords, then fall back onto Montreal, shall we?

Normally, I would look at a team with a record like the Panthers and say “Hmm, this one’s pretty much a toss-up”. But given the Panthers win streak of four games and counting against the Canucks, including a particularly humiliating loss at Rogers Arena on the night the team paid tribute to the Sedins and Roberto Luongo on their admission to the Hockey Hall Of Fame, I can feel yet another loss coming up for the Canucks.

And it gets even better, as after the game they’ll board a flight for Raleigh, NC so they can take on the second best team in the East a mere 22 hours later in an afternoon matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes that is a chef’s kiss of a scheduling job by the NHL. Just a fantastic job there, guys.

I don’t know what the deal is in Florida, honestly. It might be chemistry, losing Jonathan Huberdeau and replacing him with Matthew Tkachuk. It could be injuries, as they’ve been missing a number of guys throughout the season, and are currently without Anthony Duclair, Patric Honrqvist and G Spencer Knight. Not really sure, but this is far from where they hoped to be this season.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, here’s what we can expect this afternoon, maybe...

Canucks projected lineup

Andrei KuzmenkoElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

Conor GarlandBo HorvatJ.T. Miller

Dakota JoshuaCurtis LazarWilliam Lockwood

Ilya MikheyevSheldon DriesJack Studnicka

Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Riley StillmanEthan Bear

Spencer Martin

Collin Delia

Scratched: Kyle Burroughs, Lane Pederson

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

Panthers projected lineup

Anton LundellAleksander BarkovSam Reinhart

Carter VerhaegheSam BennettMatthew Tkachuk

Eetu LuostarinenEric StaalNick Cousins

Ryan LombergColin WhiteGivani Smith

Gustav ForslingAaron Ekblad

Marc StaalBrandon Montour

Josh MahuraRadko Gudas

Sergei Bobrovsky

Alex Lyon

Scratched: Zac Dalpe, Casey Fitzgerald

Injured: Spencer Knight (undisclosed), Anthony Duclair (Achilles tendon), Patric Hornqvist (concussion)

As long as we’re talking about injuries, it’s another setback for Travis Dermott. After barely a week in the lineup after suffering from concussion issues in the preseason, he left Thursday night’s game in Tampa and did not return. That means Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s press box exile is over and he’ll return to the lineup tonight, and it looks like Sheldon Dries is in and Lane Pederson is out tonight. Spencer Martin will get the start against Sergei Bobrovsky tonight, as the Canucks reward Collin Delia with another big start against Carolina.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Earlier this week, the world of rock lost a true giant, as we learned of the sudden passing of Jeff Beck. One of the most original, creative and influential guitarists, from his work with the Yardbirds (alongside another monumental axeman in Jimmy Page), his short time with the band saw them achieve massive success. Winner of seven Grammys, and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame with the Yardbirds and as a solo musician, his impact on the world of rock and the blues will be everlasting. The track I chose today features Beck and Page doing what they do best, in a surprisingly heavy (by 1966 standards) re-working of the blues classic ‘Train Kept-A Rollin’, called ‘Stroll On’. The band had been pegged to perform the original in the movie ‘Blow Up’, but couldn’t get the rights to use it in the film, so they re-worked the lyrics and voila. Here’s the track, and then how it appeared in the film, showcasing Beck’s legendary temper.

Enjoy the game, and we’ll see you tomorrow afternoon for another one, eh?