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Game Day Preview #43: Jan 15, 2023- Canucks @ Carolina

The last stop on the January Magical Misery Tour is in Raleigh, as a tired Canucks team looks to avoid going winless on the trip against the Carolina Hurricanes. And a win here is crucial, because Bruce Boudreau’s job likely depends on it.

Vancouver Canucks v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (17-22-3) vs CAROLINA HURRICANES (27-9-7)

2:00 PM PST

PNC ARENA, RALEIGH, NC

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC RADIO: SN650

Yeah, remember that whole “It can, and absolutely will get worse” thing we talked about? It definitely happened last night. It might be something we could stomach if it were a case of the Canucks outplaying teams, and it being poor luck that sees them coming out on the losing end. That’s not the case. No, this was, once again, another loss that can be chalked up to a team that just seems so utterly clueless as to how to defend around their own net, and not getting the kind of goaltending that’s going to allow them to steal games they have no business winning.

And so with four straight losses, and seven of their last ten, they head into the first of three straight three games in four nights scenarios this month. 22 hours after puck drop in Sunrise, FL last night they’ll be lining up against the second best team in the Eastern Conference, with the rumours that the Canucks have a replacement already in waiting for Bruce Boudreau, whenever they decide to end this debacle.

This is just so on brand for the franchise, and the mindset of management and ownership, that I actually laughed out loud when I heard Friedman say this last night. Of course they’re going to bring in another guy like this. It’s just not going to get any better until there’s a complete and total regime change, and that means ownership. Until they’re gone, the song remains the same, and the Canucks will not make the playoffs this year, or the next.

And while a win certainly isn’t a guarantee that Boudreau will be the head coach come Wednesday at home against Tampa, trying to salvage some kind of dignity after four straight regulation losses certainly isn’t going to hurt this mentally fragile team. Getting it against a team that’s lost as many games in regulation all season as the Canucks have in the last 30 days is expecting a lot.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, here’s a rough stab at what the lineups might look like...

Canucks projected lineup

Andrei KuzmenkoElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

Conor GarlandBo HorvatJ.T. Miller

Dakota JoshuaCurtis LazarWilliam Lockwood

Ilya MikheyevLane PedersonJack Studnicka

Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Riley StillmanEthan Bear

Collin Delia

Spencer Martin

Scratched: Kyle Burroughs, Sheldon Dries

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

Hurricanes projected lineup

Teuvo TeravainenSebastian AhoSeth Jarvis

Andrei SvechnikovPaul StastnyMartin Necas

Jordan MartinookJordan StaalJesper Fast

Jesperi KotkaniemiDerek StepanStefan Noesen

Jaccob SlavinBrent Burns

Brady SkjeiBrett Pesce

Calvin de HaanJalen Chatfield

Pyotr Kochetkov

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Frederik Andersen, Dylan Coghlan

Injured: Max Pacioretty (lower body), Ondrej Kase (concussion)

So apart from Collin Delia getting the start tonight, it doesn’t appear there’ll be any changes from what we saw last night. Travis Dermott isn’t concussion related, thankfully, but it’s unlikely he’ll be back for tonight. The Canes will have former Canuck Jalen Chatfield in today, but are without Max Pacioretty again. Apart from him and Ondrej Kase, they’re healthy and this game could be ugly.

GAME DAY CHATTER

Such a weird season. I don’t think that anyone could have predicted either of these things: Horvat hitting 30 at the halfway mark, or Elias Pettersson still looking for his first PP goal of the season. The Vancouver Canucks defy logic in a way we’ve never seen before.

And in case you missed it, and were worried there hasn’t been enough bad news lately, Jack Rathbone was hospitalized last night after this vicious hit in the Abbotsford Canucks game versus the San Jose Barracuda.

First, I’m sorry... Innocent looking hit? In what reality? Secondly, I get that the officials miss stuff all the time, but the AHL need to be looking at this one. This is the second time in the last year that Rathbone’s been stretchered off the ice, and that’s deeply concerning for one of the Canucks best defensive prospects.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Japanese power metallers LOVEBITES have a new album coming out next month entitled ‘Judgement Day’, and it’s a fantastic display of high energy speed metal. Check out the title track, and try to enjoy the game.