VANCOUVER CANUCKS (21-28-4) vs DETROIT RED WINGS (23-22-8)
7:00 PM PST
ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC RADIO: SN650
It feels as though the only thing that’s been consistent about the Vancouver Canucks this season is that every move they make seems to be deliberately detrimental. The latest head scratcher is how new head coach Rick Tocchet seems to have chosen the first candidate for his doghouse since taking the reins from Bruce Boudreau, and for some reason, it’s Andrei Kuzmenko.
The same Kuzmenko who came in as a highly touted free agent from the KHL, preformed exactly as they had hoped, and was rightly rewarded with a contract extension. Now, his ice time has plummeted, as he finds himself in the bottom six, playing with guys who really do him no favours for the style of game that he plays. I get trying to send a message in a game, but I don’t understand how his play has warranted this.
Well, onto good news (which naturally, comes with some not so good news). The Spencer Martin Experience is coming to an end, as the Canucks have placed him on waivers for the purposes of sending him to Abbotsford. Unlike when they tried to do the same with Reid Pederson, I think there’s absolutely no danger of another team grabbing the shell-shocked goaltender.
Rick Tocchet says that Spencer Martin will backup Collin Delia tonight, even though Martin was put on waivers today. #Canucks @Sportsnet650— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) February 13, 2023
So you’d look at this and think “So, Thatcher Demko’s ready to return to the lineup then, right? Right??” Nnnnnnnnnnnnope.
Demko ready to return midweek? https://t.co/TJEXun7miF— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) February 13, 2023
Martin was full value for earning that backup role to Demko in camp, but floundered under the pressure in the number one slot when Demko was injured. He’s been outplayed consistently by Delia, too.
With just 8 games left before the March 3rd trading deadline, it will be interesting to see just how the Canucks respond to the return of their number one goalie. Will they go on a run, and try to somehow claw their way back into a playoff spot? Haha, yeah right. No, they’ll win just enough to hamper any tank hopes, and continue on their mediocre way just as they have for the past decade.
Red Wings projected lineup
Tyler Bertuzzi — Dylan Larkin — Dominik Kubalik
Michael Rasmussen — Andrew Copp — David Perron
Filip Zadina — Pius Suter — Oskar Sundqvist
Jonatan Berggren — Joe Veleno — Robby Fabbri
Scratched: Gustav Lindstrom, Jordan Oesterle
Injured: Lucas Raymond (lower body), Matt Luff (upper body), Mark Pysyk (Achilles), Jake Walman (upper body)
Canucks projected lineup
Anthony Beauvillier — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Vasily Podkolzin — J.T. Miller — Conor Garland
Dakota Joshua — Sheldon Dries — Andrei Kuzmenko
Phillip Di Giuseppe — Nils Aman — Curtis Lazar
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Tyler Myers
Scratched: Jack Studnicka, Kyle Burroughs
Injured: Travis Dermott (undisclosed), Thatcher Demko (lower body), Ilya Mikheyev (torn ACL), Tanner Pearson (hand surgery), Tucker Poolman (undisclosed)
GAME DAY CHATTER
"We weren't happy with that performance and we felt we should of had a different outcome to that game, so I expect our group to be ready tonight."— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 13, 2023
️ Dakota Joshua on last game against the Red Wings and facing them again tonight. @theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/ei7I5cMJe9
"Playing with Petey, it makes my life a little easier out there. He kills plays defensively and keeps pucks alive defensively, he's one of the best in the league and I'm fortunate to play with him."— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 13, 2023
️ Anthony Beauvillier on playing with Elias Pettersson@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/FUc80UXvmv
Head Coach Rick Tocchet meets with the media ahead of tonight's game against the Red Wings.@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/0fAslh3Dvh— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 13, 2023
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
This one’s pretty cool. In advance of their upcoming North American tour, a couple metal heavyweights have released a single they recorded together, honoring the late Riley Gale of Power Trip, who were supposed to open this tour when it was originally planned back in 2020. Proceeds from this single go to Dallas Hope Charities, which supports LGBTQ youth in the DFW area. Gale was a big supporter of the organization, so it’s cool to see this being done in his name. Here’s LAMB OF GOD and KREATOR together, bringing you the ‘State Of Unrest’!
Enjoy the game, folks. Go Canucks Go.