Coming off a frustrating overtime loss, the Canucks head into the All Star break with one last game, and a chance to make amends for another frustrating overtime loss as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.
CANUCKS (31-11-5) at TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (15-23-9)
ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
7:00 PM PST
SPORTSNET PACIFIC, SN1, CITY TV
In a way, I kind of feel sorry for Teddy Blueger. I mean, dude rolls out a 3rd period hat trick including the tying goal with less than a minute remaining in regulation, and all everyone is talking about is Elias Pettersson.
Was it a blown call? By this season's standards, absolutely. Was he the reason they lost in OT? Absolutely. Was head coach Rick Tocchet right to call EP40 out after the game? Absolutely. Was it excessive? Absolutely not. Was it blown out of proportion by the media? Absolutely not. I know it's really bog standard to call out the media anytime someone thinks they were out of line, but when the harshest reporting on it came from the rights holder, I think Tocchet's complaint doesn't hold up. It'd be a shame to see him be less than as honest as he's been since taking the reins in Vancouver, because it's been such a revelation.
After tonight, the Canucks have 33 games remaining, and their schedule in February after the All Star Weekend is absolutely brutal. It kicks off with a 5 game Eastern swing that sees them run the gauntlet of Carolina, Boston and a weekend pre-noon Pacific time back to back in Detroit and Washington. They follow that up with a game in Chicago before returning home. That is a stupid amount of travel, especially the back and forth between Boston, Detroit and Washington. And it's not just this trip. They face the Bruins twice this month, as well as twice against Detroit, plus Colorado, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh. 13 games in 24 days. If they can come through this with a winning record, there's a good chance they'll be able to hang onto the division lead.
And after a game that was a bit of a deviation from what we've been used to this season in terms of complete efforts, we're hoping that tonight we see the Canucks come out all guns blazing against a team that definitely took advantage of a road weary Vancouver squad last time they met.
The Blue Jackets haven't forgotten how to battle, and came through with a big win over the Calgary Flames Thursday night, but there's really no excuse for the Canucks to not show up for this one, looming vacation or not.
Written on a sandbag as everyone prepares for another atmospheric river adventure is tonight's lineup, though it also might have been nhl dot com...
Blue Jackets projected lineup
Johnny Gaudreau -- Cole Sillinger -- Yegor Chinakhov
Adam Fantilli -- Boone Jenner -- Jack Roslovic
Kent Johnson -- Dmitri Voronkov -- Kirill Marchenko
Alexandre Texier -- Sean Kuraly -- Justin Danforth
Zach Werenski -- Erik Gudbranson
Ivan Provorov -- Damon Severson
Jake Bean -- Andrew Peeke
Scratched: Emil Bemstrom, Mathieu Olivier, Nick Blankenburg
Injured: Adam Boqvist (upper body), Patrik Laine (clavicle)
Canucks projected lineup
Pius Suter -- J.T. Miller -- Brock Boeser
Ilya Mikheyev -- Elias Pettersson -- Andrei Kuzmenko
Dakota Joshua -- Teddy Blueger -- Conor Garland
Nils Hoglander -- Nils Aman -- Sam Lafferty
Quinn Hughes -- Filip Hronek
Ian Cole -- Tyler Myers
Nikita Zadorov -- Noah Juulsen
Scratched: Linus Karlsson, Mark Friedman
Injured: Carson Soucy (hand), Phillip Di Giuseppe (lower body), Guillaume Brisebois (concussion)
Can we be blunt here? If the Canucks get bogged down in another low event game against a team whose top defensive pairing includes Eric Gudbranson, and without Patrik Laine, they should be put on blast.
GAME DAY CHATTER
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
I saw a documentary piece on Youtube the other day, that looked at the increasing numbers of females making an impact in the metal world. It was an interesting look at the things women have to endure to make it in a male dominated industry, but also about how metal is growing and living up to its ideals of being welcoming to anyone. One of the bands feature was SLAVES TO SIRENS, an all female band from Lebanon. This is a band that literally breaks laws to exist, and that my friends is metal as fuck.
So enjoy the game tonight, and make sure to check back as we get you set up for the All Star Canucks Takeover of Toronto as well as the stretch run and the upcoming NHL Trade Deadline. Go Canucks Go!