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Game Preview and Gamethread #42: Canucks vs Penguins

January 11, 2024
- Westy

CANUCKS (27-11-3) at PENGUINS (20-15-4)

7 p.m. ET; SN-PIT, SNP, SNO, SNE

Canucks continue their road trip in Pittsburgh today after sweeping the NY adjacent teams. The Nucks are 4-1 in 2024 so far and if the lotto line continues at their pace, the team may finish with 1 million points. Of course, as a Canuck fan I wondered where this team would be in the team's all-time standings if they didn't win another game this year. This year's team has 57 points and that would beat 3 other full season Canuck teams, including teams from 1970-71, 71-72 and 72-73. If they win two more games, they will pass 3 bad Canucks teams from the 80s...after they went to the Cup in 82. While others are thinking this team can get near the team's all-time record of 117 points, I continue to push the narrative of being a .500 team gets them into the playoff. I am a terrible motivational speaker.

November 27th, 2019....Canucks faced the Penguinos in Pittsburgh. 3 minutes into the 3rd period the Canucks are on cruise control, winning 6-3 and the Pens didn't have Crosby. All good.

And then the button for cruise control short-circuited and the Canucks swerved into the boards, knocked their heads and forgot everything about defense. Malkin added 3 more point in the 3rd period to the points he already had and the Penguinos won 8-6. Scarred for life.

So if the Canucks jump into a 8-0 lead tonight, I would still expect the Pens to come back.

The Pens are having a tough year so far. They are just above .500 even though they have a goal diff of +15 (explain that 82wino). Their PP is in the bottom 3rd of the league, even though they have Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Guentzal, Rust and Karlsson. Geez, now that I look at those names and see they are all over 30 except for Jake G. And funny enough, Jake is leading the pens in points and is in his final year of a contract. I guess that's why the rumor mill has him leaving Pitt. Kyle Dubas has his work cut out with the age of this team and some contracts that won't disappear for a couple more years.

Canucks projected lineup

Elias Pettersson -- J.T. Miller -- Brock Boeser

Ilya Mikheyev -- Pius Suter -- Andrei Kuzmenko

Dakota Joshua -- Teddy Blueger -- Conor Garland

Nils Hoglander -- Nils Aman -- Sam Lafferty

Quinn Hughes -- Filip Hronek

Carson Soucy -- Tyler Myers

Nikita Zadorov -- Ian Cole

Thatcher Demko

Casey DeSmith

Scratched: Mark Friedman, Linus Karlsson, Noah Juulsen

Injured: Phillip Di Giuseppe (lower body), Guillaume Brisebois (concussion)

Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Rickard Rakell

Drew O’Connor -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Reilly Smith -- Lars Eller -- Valtteri Puustinen

Jansen Harkins -- Noel Acciari -- Jeff Carter

Marcus Pettersson -- Kris Letang

Pierre-Olivier Joseph -- Erik Karlsson

Ryan Graves -- Chad Ruhwedel

Alex Nedeljkovic

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Radim Zohorna, Ryan Shea

Injured: Matt Nieto (knee surgery), John Ludvig (upper body)

Status report

Cole will replace Juulsen on a defense pair with Zadorov after being a healthy scratch in a 5-2 win against the New York Islanders on Tuesday. ... Nedeljkovic will start a second straight game for Pittsburgh after making 36 saves in a 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. It will be his ninth start in the past 13 games. - NHL.com

Game Day Battle Hymn

**Disclaimer - I am not a fan of Bon Jovi. I almost apologize for this.

The Canucks are halfway through their season and what a season it's been. I am sure some people have used their prayers on this season. Debatable if it will be worth it, but let's enjoy it none the less.

Go Canucks Go!

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