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Game Day Preview #46: Jan 21, 2023- Canucks vs Edmonton

I don’t even know where to begin, because this whole thing continues to get worse.

Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (18-24-3) vs EDMONTON OILERS (26-18-3)

7:00 PM PST

ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC

TV: SPORTSNET, CBC, CITY RADIO: SN650

These are dark, frustrating days. I don’t think I have ever felt so pissed off at this team, and I’m someone who can remember Bill LaForge as head coach. The Canucks have done a lot of frustrating, confusing things over the past decade, but the way they’re treating Bruce Boudreau is infuriating.

How on earth can an organization that champions mental health the way that they do put someone as genuinely awesome as Boudreau through such a publicly humiliating and demoralizing situation? Forget that changing the coach does absolutely nothing to address the problems at hand, and that the coach you’re bringing in to replace him is not fit to wear his whistle when it comes to what he’s accomplished as a head coach in the NHL. There was a better way to do this. Let Boudreau go, get Mike Yeo to assume to role of interim head coach and then bring in Rick Tocchet. Apparently, that’s not good enough for the Aquilinis.

No, they have to humiliate him. And it has to be deliberate. How could it not be? We need to know why. As fans, I think it’s absolutely fair to ask this question. Why, if you had no faith in him, did you drag this out so agonizingly slowly, and make a franchise already being laughed at regularly for their on-ice performance, now the target of league-wide scorn for this off ice bullshit. You’ve managed to make it more embarrassing to be a Canucks fan than at any time in their 53 year history. Hell of an accomplishment, man. Take a bow, because the spotlight of the nation, and the game itself is on the Canucks, and what a shitty, cruel, vindictive and absolutely clueless organization they are under your leadership.

If this truly is the end for us here at NM, perhaps it’s not all bad. Those feckless corporate ghouls at Vox might just be doing us a favour and freeing us from any obligation to have to try and make sense of this godforsaken team.

So this is essentially the last game for Boudreau as coach of the Canucks, and it’s so hard to even watch, because no one deserves to be treated this way. I’d like to tell you how incredible it would be to win big tonight, to do it for him, Honestly, the whole thing just leaves me feeling sick, and besides, I have zero faith this team can win another game, and I am certainly far less interested in this team succeeding without Boudreau.

LINEUPS

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, CITY, ESPN+

Oilers projected lineup

Leon DraisaitlConnor McDavidZach Hyman

Klim KostinRyan Nugent-HopkinsJesse Puljujarvi

Evander KaneRyan McLeodWarren Foegele

Dylan HollowayDerek Ryan

Darnell NurseCody Ceci

Brett KulakTyson Barrie

Philip BrobergEvan Bouchard

Vincent Desharnais

Stuart Skinner

Jack Campbell

Scratched: James Hamblin

Injured: Mattias Janmark (illness), Kailer Yamamoto (undisclosed), Ryan Murray (back)

Canucks projected lineup

Andrei KuzmenkoElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

Conor GarlandBo HorvatJ.T. Miller

Ilya MikheyevSheldon DriesJack Studnicka

Dakota JoshuaCurtis LazarWilliam Lockwood

Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Travis DermottEthan Bear

Spencer Martin

Collin Delia

Scratched: Lane Pederson, Riley Stillman, Kyle Burroughs

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

So, if they’re really going to trade Horvat, why continue to play him? Risking an injury and thus the inability to trade him before the deadline would be an absolute disaster for the Canucks and it feels inevitable. Anyway, same lineup save for the goalies, as Spencer Martin is up for another dose of disrespect from his defensively challenged teammates.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

This one goes out to Jim Bankoff. Enjoy the game, if that’s possible. Thank you, Bruce. We didn’t deserve you, and you definitely didn’t deserve this. Sell the team, Frankie.