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Game Day Preview #38: Jan 5, 2023- Canucks vs Colorado

The Canucks are in the most difficult stretch of their season, and anything less than going on an absolute tear over the next 9 games means they can kiss the post-season goodbye.

Colorado Avalanche v Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (16-18-3) vs COLORADO AVALANCHE (19-14-3)

7:00 PM PST

ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC, SN1 RADIO: SN650

After yet another lacklustre performance on home ice, getting their lunch fed to them, the Canucks have one more at Rogers Arena before hitting the road for a tough 5 games in 8 days stretch. This trip features two early afternoon games, and a back to back at the tail end in Florida and Carolina. It’s the first of three back to backs this month, and with the strength of the schedule for the rest of January, if it hasn’t hit you that we really need to be thinking about the draft lottery and nothing else right now, I don’t know what else to tell you. There’s two completely winnable games (Chicago, Columbus), six of the twelve are against teams currently not in the playoffs (the aforementioned two plus two against Colorado, then Florida and Pittsburgh). Two pretty much sure things of twelve, and if they want to stay in the mix, they can probably lose no more than two.

At the risk of beating a dead orca, this team is simply not good enough, and there is nothing that suggests the core is something that will get better. Again, we find ourselves wondering why there’s such bitter resistance to admitting this, and doing what is best for the long term. Francesco Aquilini’s desire to win now is as delusional as it is maddening, and the fans of this team deserve so much better than this.

Of course, we could see them come out and win tonight, and some will feel it’s a sign that they’re not dead yet. The last time these teams met, the Canucks played what was probably their best game of the season, coming back in the third with goals from Sheldon Dries and Ethan Bear to steal a 4-3 win in Denver on November 23rd.

The Avalanche are still suffering from their Stanley Cup hangover, sitting a point back of the Oilers for the last wild card slot in the West, and have lost four straight heading into tonight’s contest. They ended 2022 with losses to Arizona on the road, then at home to Los Angeles in a shootout, and a blowout loss to the Leafs before kicking off 2023 with a 3-2 loss to Vegas on Monday night.

LINEUPS

Avalanche projected lineup

Artturi LehkonenNathan MacKinnonMikko Rantanen

Alex NewhookJ.T. CompherDenis Malgin

Andrew CoglianoBen MeyersLogan O’Connor

Kurtis MacDermidDarren HelmMartin Kaut

Devon ToewsCale Makar

Samuel GirardErik Johnson

Andreas EnglundBrad Hunt

Alexandar Georgiev

Jonas Johansson

Scratched: Jacob MacDonald

Injured: Gabriel Landeskog (knee), Bowen Byram (lower body), Josh Manson (lower body), Pavel Francouz (lower body), Valeri Nichushkin (ankle), Evan Rodrigues (upper body)

Canucks projected lineup

Andrei KuzmenkoElias PetterssonJ.T. Miller

Ilya MikheyevBo HorvatBrock Boeser

Conor GarlandSheldon DriesWilliam Lockwood

Dakota JoshuaJack StudnickaCurtis Lazar

Quinn HughesEthan Bear

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Travis DermottLuke Schenn

Collin Delia

Spencer Martin

Scratched: Lane Pederson, Riley Stillman, Kyle Burroughs

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

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Today we go back over 40 years to revisit a piece of metal history. A band from San Francisco (via LA) was creating waves, unleashing a metal attack unlike anything ever heard on North American shores. Before what we knew as the classic METALLICA lineup, the band released a couple legendary demo tapes, that helped them get signed to Megaforce Records. One was the ‘No Life Til Leather’ demo, which may be the most famous demo tape in metal history. The other was ‘Power Metal’, released in 1982. Featuring Ron McGovney on bass and some guy named Dave Mustaine, the tape featured four songs, all of which would appear on the band’s ‘Kill Em All’ debut, though you may recognize ‘The Mechanix’ in its original form, which went on to be ‘The Four Horsemen’ (though Mustaine performed this one on MEGADETH’s debut ‘Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!’). It’s an amazing time capsule that shows the birth of a genre, a bunch of crazy California kids who would go on to become some of the biggest rock stars in the modern era.

Enjoy the game everyone! Go Canucks Go. Oh, and sell the team, Francesco!