VANCOUVER CANUCKS (20-26-4) vs NEW YORK RANGERS (28-14-8)
5:00 PM PST
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK, NY
TV: SPORTSNET. RADIO: SN650
While I am still not sure that what we saw from the Canucks on Monday night in New Jersey is the new normal under Head Coach Rick Tocchet, it had some entertainment value, at the very least. And while the whole 3 goals in :50 was hard to watch, the majority of their defensive play was, dare I say... tolerable? Perfect? No. Better? Certainly. The problem is still the same: When this team has mental lapses on defence, it ends up in the back of the net, every damn time.
And with a team that’s not only similar to the Devils in terms of offensive ability standing in their way tonight, it’s going to mean they’re going to have to be as close to perfect as possible to Escape From New York alive. Oh, and keep your heads on a damn swivel tonight, because Jacob Trouba is a goddamn menace.
The new lines in the wake of the Bo Horvat trade will need a bit of time to determine if they’re going to work, but it did appear that the Elias Pettersson/Andrei Kuzmenko/Anthony Beauvillier line had some immediate chemistry, and the bottom six had a strong night, with goals from Curtis Lazar and Phillip Di Giuseppe.
This lineup prediction was being handed out in Times Square by a guy in a Shrek costume, or maybe it was on nhl.com:
Canucks projected lineup
Andrei Kuzmenko — Elias Pettersson — Anthony Beauvillier
Dakota Joshua — J.T. Miller — Conor Garland
Vasily Podkolzin — Sheldon Dries — Brock Boeser
Phillip Di Giuseppe — Nils Aman — Curtis Lazar
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Luke Schenn
Scratched: Travis Dermott, Kyle Burroughs, Lane Pederson, Jack Studnicka
Injured: William Lockwood (upper body), Thatcher Demko (lower body), Tanner Pearson (hand), Tucker Poolman (undisclosed), Ilya Mikheyev (COVID-19)
Rangers projected lineup
Artemi Panarin — Mika Zibanejad — Jimmy Vesey
Chris Kreider — Vincent Trocheck — Barclay Goodrow
Alexis Lafreniere — Filip Chytil — Kaapo Kakko
Will Cuylle — Jake Leschyshyn — Sammy Blais
Scratched: Libor Hajek, Vitali Kravtsov, Julien Gauthier
Correction time, yay! First, Jack Studnicka is definitely not a healthy scratch:
Canucks sending Jack Studnicka back to Vancouver. Winger has been non-COVID sick since team reassembled in New York after All-Star break. He required IV Sunday night, slowly improving since. But wasn’t going to be able to play on this trip, so headed home to recover.— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) February 8, 2023
Also, someone should probably tell nhl dot com that Lane Pederson is also definitely not a healthy scratch for the Canucks, again.
Kind of weird to see Jimmy Vesey on the Rangers top line, and boo on them for not starting Jaroslav Halak, in case this holds true.
GAME DAY CHATTER
"It's been a crazy week that's for sure. But I'm happy to be here now, and happy to feel more comfortable here."— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 8, 2023
Anthony Beauvillier speaks to the media ahead of playing the Rangers@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/8giCkvZHKj
"I just like the attitude (of the team)...I've seen some really good steps on changing the way we're playing."— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 8, 2023
Head Coach Rick Tocchet@theprovince | #Canucks pic.twitter.com/8hbdrJcdvg
milestone night at Madison Square? JT Miller sitting on 499 career points while Artemi Panarin has 199 goals #Canucks vs #NYR— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) February 8, 2023
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Going back to the ‘Tango & Thrash’ EP, here’s a track off MUNICIPAL WASTE’s love letter to the legendary Kurt Russell.
Enjoy the game, folks. Go Canucks Go!