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Game Day Preview #53: Feb 9, 2023- Canucks @ Detroit

The ridiculous scheduling continues with a stop in the Motor City, as the Canucks play their 3rd game in less than 4 nights.

NHL: OCT 16 Canucks at Red Wings Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (21-27-4) vs DETROIT RED WINGS (22-22-8)

9:00 AM PST

LITTLE CAESARS ARENA, DETROIT, MI

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC RADIO: SN650

Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but I can’t believe that in 2023 the NHL is still scheduling Western Conference teams in noon Eastern time games. Coming off a back to back, this is a recipe for disaster in terms of fatigue and injuries, as we’ve seen in the past. And let’s face it, after an emotional come from behind win against Bo Horvat and the New York Islanders on Thursday night, this one has all the markings of an emotional letdown game.

Anyway, while I still stand by my position that continuing to plummet down the standings is the best thing for this team, that was a thoroughly enjoyable win. From the way Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser showed there is not a leadership void through their play, especially in the third period, to some great offensive contributions from the fourth line again, and the cherry-on-top game winner from Anthony Beauvillier, there was a lot to enjoy there.

The question is: can they respond with an effort when they’ll no doubt be tired having to play their fourth game in six days, especially with the crazy early morning start time? I have my doubts, and it’s probably your best bet to expect the worst, and avoid disappointment, as well as keep the door open for being pleasantly surprised.

The Red Wings were rumoured to be in on Horvat, and sitting just 8 points back of a playoff spot, Steve Yzerman’s Wings feel like they’re not out of it just yet. If they can get closer over the next couple weeks, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see them make moves for a potential playoff push. They’ve got a tough week ahead as they run the Northwest gauntlet: Monday in Vancouver, an Alberta back to back Wednesday and Thursday, then down to Seattle on Saturday (again, the schedulers not doing any favours to a team by creating unnecessary travel). If they can take three of four, they’ll finish the month with the Capitals, Rangers, Lightning and then a huge back to back in Ottawa (for both games, which is pretty rare) against a Senators team that sit just a point behind them.

LINEUPS

Canucks projected lineup

Brock BoeserElias PetterssonAnthony Beauvillier

Vasily PodkolzinJ.T. MillerConor Garland

Dakota JoshuaSheldon DriesAndrei Kuzmenko

Phillip Di GiuseppeNils AmanCurtis Lazar

Quinn HughesEthan Bear

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Riley StillmanKyle Burroughs

Spencer Martin

Collin Delia

Scratched: Travis Dermott, Jack Studnicka, Luke Schenn

Injured: Thatcher Demko (lower body), Ilya Mikheyev (torn ACL), Tanner Pearson (hand surgery), Tucker Poolman (undisclosed)

Red Wings projected lineup

Tyler BertuzziDylan LarkinLucas Raymond

Michael RasmussenAndrew CoppDavid Perron

Filip ZadinaPius SuterOskar Sundqvist

Jonatan BerggrenJoe VelenoRobby Fabbri

Olli MaattaMoritz Seider

Ben ChiarotFilip Hronek

Jordan OesterleRobert Hagg

Ville Husso

Magnus Hellberg

Scratched: Gustav Lindstrom, Dominik Kubalik

Injured: Matt Luff (upper body), Mark Pysyk (Achilles), Jake Walman (upper body)

It’s looking like the Canucks will be without Luke Schenn again today. Schenn was injured in the game against the Rangers and missed Thursday’s contest against the Islanders. It doesn’t look like there’s any other changes, apart from Spencer Martin getting the start again, hoping to get his first win since Dec 27th.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

A little classic Detroit for ya today, but naturally it’s got a Swedish twist. Here’s ENTOMBED with their version of the MC5 belter ‘Kick Out The Jams’, off ‘To Ride, Shoot Straight, And Speak The Truth!’.

Enjoy your breakfast hockey. Go Canucks Go.