VANCOUVER CANUCKS (23-31-5) vs DALLAS STARS (31-16-12)
5:30 PM PST
AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER, DALLAS, TX
TV: SN PACIFIC, SN ONE. RADIO: SN650
It has such a Canucks kind of month, hasn’t it? Drama, trades, a bucket load of injuries, humbling losses, idiotic managerial moves, February truly encapsulated everything that the Vancouver Canucks are. And naturally, a win will move them to a 4-4-4 record for the month, which is just so on the nose. It was hardly a difficult schedule compared to other months, but their only wins came against sub par teams (Philadelphia, Nashville and the New York Islanders).
They sit just seven points up on the last place Columbus Blue Jackets, in a year we were told was going to be different. The only way this could actually be true, would be if the Canucks were to lose enough games to get into the bottom 3 and have a genuine shot at getting that coveted first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. Anything less is just more of the same pap the Aquilini family has been trying to pass off as caviar for more than a decade now.
And while it is in no way any type of excuse for their performance this season, the injuries that have plagued this team are just unreal. The latest additions to the Canucks injured reserve list are Ethan Bear, who took a puck square in the face during his first shift against Boston Saturday afternoon, and... JT Miller. Naturally.
GM Patrik Allvin announced today that D Ethan Bear has been placed on IR and D Noah Juulsen has been recalled from Abbotsford (AHL).— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 26, 2023
Canucks F J.T. Miller is out week to week with a lower body injury.— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 27, 2023
Bear & Miller join Curtis Lazar, Tucker Poolman, Ilya Mikheyev, Travis Dermott, Tanner Pearson, Micheal Ferland, and Thatcher Demko on IR as well as Oliver Ekman-Larsson who is still out with an ankle sprain. Demko is likely to be activated today though. They’ll also again be without Luke Schenn, sitting out to keep him from joining this list before they can trade him ahead of Friday afternoon’s trade deadline.
Anyway, tonight, we’ll also get the debut of the newest Canuck, as Vitali Kravtsov will be in the lineup as they take on the Stars. He’ll wear number 91, last worn by Juho Lammikko, and I am sure that the reaction you have to that is the same as mine: “Oh yeah, I forgot about him...”
They’re taking on a Dallas team that is locked in a battle with Vegas for first overall in the West, and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs pending who they meet in the finals should they get that far. They’re a bit of a surprise, fueled by a couple youngsters in Jason Robertson and G Jake Oettenger, as well as some strong play from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
Courtesy of nhl.com, this is what the Canucks think can compete against Dallas tonight, apparently...
Canucks projected lineup
Andrei Kuzmenko — Elias Pettersson — Anthony Beauvillier
Conor Garland — Sheldon Dries — Brock Boeser
Vasily Podkolzin — Aatu Raty — Vitali Kravtsov
Dakota Joshua — Nils Aman — Jack Studnicka
Christian Wolanin — Kyle Burroughs
Scratched: Luke Schenn, Guillaume Brisebois
Injured: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ankle), Curtis Lazar (lower body), Thatcher Demko (groin), Travis Dermott (undisclosed), Ilya Mikheyev (torn ACL), Tanner Pearson (hand), Tucker Poolman (undisclosed), Ethan Bear (upper body), J.T. Miller (lower body)
Stars projected lineup
Jason Robertson — Roope Hintz — Joe Pavelski
Jamie Benn — Wyatt Johnston — Ty Dellandrea
Mason Marchment — Tyler Seguin — Evgenii Dadonov
Fredrik Olofsson — Radek Faksa — Fredrik Karlstrom
Scratched: Joel Hanley
Injured: Joel Kiviranta (lower body), Luke Glendening (upper body)
So... let’s go over this. Demko is slated to be a game time decision, and even if he is cleared, it’s hard to say if he starts, but you would think that if he gets the all clear, they want to get him back into game action as soon as possible. Kravtsov will play on the 3rd line with Raty and Podkolzin. He and Podz were teammates on the Russian world juniors squad a couple years ago. Juulsen will play, though I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Brisebois over Stillman, given their familiarity with each other from Abbotsford.
GAME DAY CHATTER
Wonder if JT Miller has tweaked something new or tweaked an injury he’s been playing through this season.— Satiar Shah (@SatiarShah) February 27, 2023
Either way, he’s not being sat out for TRR.
JT Miller had been only #Canucks skater to play every game so far this season. If not on trip it means no skater made it to 60 game mark without missing some action— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) February 27, 2023
based on today's active rosters (with 8 on IR and a bunch of Abby call-ups), #Canucks are 4th youngest team in #NHL behind Buffalo, Columbus & Montreal— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) February 27, 2023
with Miller news on top of all the others, quite the contrast between #Canucks and Stars who have lost 32 man games to injury — all season. For context, Demko has missed last 35 pic.twitter.com/j5rUvowJYK— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) February 27, 2023
Vitali Kravtsov meets with the media for the first time since joining the Canucks.@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/sH9dHD7JGV— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 27, 2023
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
The perfect album cover doesn’t exis...
Enjoy the game, folks. Go Canucks Go.