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Game Day Preview #48: Jan 25, 2023- Canucks @ Seattle

After a successful debut of new head coach Rick Tocchet against one of those teams that’s definitely not tanking according to Uncle Gary, the Canucks move on to take on the Kraken in Seattle. Will this be the night that they finally lose to the team down the road?

Vancouver Canucks v Seattle Kraken Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (19-25-3) vs SEATTLE KRAKEN (27-14-5)

7:00 PM PST

CLIMATE PLEDGE ARENA, SEATTLE, WA

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC RADIO: SN650

Well, last night was interesting, to say the least. It had everything: disgruntled fans booing the new head coach in his debut, the earliest jersey toss in history, and some solid performances from the bottom six, especially Sheldon Dries and Dakota Joshua. Both were just an assist away from notching Gordie Howe hat tricks, and with those and the pair of goals from Andrei Kuzmenko, the Canucks snapped their losing streak and cruised to the first victory for the new coaching staff.

Now, let’s be clear. Booing Rick Tocchet last night? I’m not cool with that. It’s not that I don’t understand the rage and frustration with this team. I get it. You’re lashing out at the wrong guy though. He deserves a chance to prove himself, and once the inevitable happens, and the makeup of this team shows that even Scotty Bowman himself couldn’t drag this team into the post-season, then you can boo him if you like. Honestly though, save it for the ownership and management who truly, deeply despise you, and are bitter that you’ll no longer swallow their crap.

Tonight is going to be a hell of a lot tougher than last night’s game, though. The Kraken are for real, and after floundering in their inaugural season, they are looking very much like a team that could maybe go on a run. Fantastic. In a season where management tried to get us to believe we’d be competing for a playoff spot, the Canucks find themselves 18 points back of Seattle at the moment, and 14 behind the Calgary Flames for the final playoff spot in the West.

So with all the good things that the Kraken have done this year, they still can’t seem to beat the Canucks. It’s one of the few sources of pride this team has as the year has progressed, but it will have to end at some point, and the tail end of a back to back against a team that’s been through the emotional wringer like the Canucks? This has loss written all over it.

LINEUPS

This was originally scrawled on the back of a takeout menu from Ivar’s Acres Of Clams, but may have also been on nhl.com:

Canucks projected lineup

Jack StudnickaBo HorvatBrock Boeser

Ilya MikheyevElias PetterssonAndrei Kuzmenko

Sheldon DriesJ.T. MillerConor Garland

Dakota JoshuaCurtis Lazar - Lane Pederson

Oliver Ekman-LarssonLuke Schenn

Quinn HughesTyler Myers

Travis DermottKyle Burroughs

Spencer Martin

Collin Delia

Scratched: Riley Stillman, Ethan Bear, Phillip Di Giuseppe

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

Kraken projected lineup

Ryan DonatoAlex WennbergJared McCann

Eeli TolvanenYanni GourdeOliver Bjorkstrand

Andre BurakovskyMatty BeniersJordan Eberle

Daniel SprongMorgan GeekieBrandon Tanev

Vince DunnAdam Larsson

Jamie OleksiakWill Borgen

Carson SoucyCale Fleury

Martin Jones

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: John Hayden

Injured: Joonas Donskoi (upper body), Chris Driedger (lower body), Jaden Schwartz (undisclosed), Justin Schultz (undisclosed)

Will Lockwood is on injured reserve after this hit from Jack Johnson last night:

The Canucks have recalled Phil Di Giuseppe from Abbotsford, but he will likely be a healthy scratch tonight. Spencer Martin will go in goal after Collin Delia picked up the win against his old team last night.

GAME DAY CHATTER

That’s actually pretty funny.

Sure, it’s encouraging to see a defensive effort like that. Doing it against a team like Chicago, which is one of the NHL’s lowest scoring teams, isn’t as impressive as it sounds though. Something similar tonight though? Then we might be seeing something we can maybe sort of have hope for?

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Some classic Seattle metal for you today with this one from METAL CHURCH. Featuring the late Mike Howe on vocals, this is ‘Date With Poverty’ from the album ‘The Human Factor’.

Enjoy the game, everyone. Screw Vox, and once again: Sell the team, Frankie.