ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC RADIO: SN650
It would seem like the Canucks are grateful to get back to action tonight, so that all of the media attention isn’t laser focused on the latest JT Miller drama, but that could change if Miller mails it in again tonight. There may not be a figure as polarizing and infuriating to the fanbase since Mark Messier for this franchise, and Canucks supporters are starting to run out of patience with the club thanks to Miller’s antics.
With another two losses, the Canucks now sit seven points back of the Edmonton Oilers and that final wild card slot, and if you somehow feel there’s something about this team that suggests they can overcome that gap and make the postseason, given what they’ve shown us this season, you’re extremely optimistic, but mostly just delusional.
Every day that passes with this core intact is another day of delay in a desperately needed rebuild, and more misery for us as fans. I’m at the point now where I just want EP40 and Hughes and everyone and anyone else can go. Just give me a team I can believe in again, because the only thing I believe about the Canucks right now is they are wasting the primes of two of the best players they’ve ever been fortunate enough to have.
Anyway, tonight they face an Islanders team who can take advantage of Pittsburgh’s loss in their 478th Winter Classic appearance yesterday and leap frog them into the last wild card slot in the Eastern Conference. The Isles may not be flashy, save for Mat Barzal, but they are holding their own in a tough division right now, and will be looking to correct a trendline against the Canucks that has seen them drop three of their last four meetings between these teams.
The following projected lineup was found in the backseat of a cab in Whalley, but it bears a striking resemblance to what we saw on nhl.com:
Islanders projected lineup
Canucks projected lineup
GAME DAY CHATTER
"We know they didn't like their last game and they're going to come out strong. We need to make sure we bring our best tonight at the opening draw."— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 3, 2023
Tyler Myers on what the team can expect from the Islanders tonight@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/pjCKcwHlHO
Head Coach Bruce Boudreau answers questions from the media pre-game on Islanders, injury updates on Demko and Pearson, player safety in sports, upcoming schedule and Canada's World Junior game.@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/cfjx8I6I14— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 3, 2023
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
2022 was a pretty strong year for metal in Canada, with a number of younger bands making waves internationally with impressive releases. One of those was Toronto’s KORROSIVE, who released their 2nd album ‘Toxic Apokalypse’ in November. Here’s ‘Fatal Strike’ off that one, make sure and check out their Bandcamp if you like what you hear.
Enjoy the game, and just a quick note: We’ll have a game thread for tomorrow’s 2022 WJC SemiFinals game between Canada and the USA up tomorrow, so join us for that. Game time will be at 3:30 pm Pacific. Go Canucks Go!