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Game Preview / Gamethread #36: Canucks vs Flyers

December 28, 2023
- Westy

FLYERS (18-11-4) at CANUCKS (23-9-3)

10 p.m. ET; SNP, NBCSP

My things can change over the course of a year. Last year at the end of December, the Canucks were a .500 team, and while the playoffs were still a mathematical possibility, the 7-game losing streak to star the year and an injured Thatcher Demko, let us know how bad the team was. The hiring of coach Rick Tocchet and then GM Patrick Allvin in Jan 2023, wasn't done enough to kill the spirit of Jim Benning and save the 2022-23 season, but it did lead to some opening discussions of the team's weaknesses and the direction the management group wanted to head. The defensive system of Green was replaced by a non-coaching free-wheeling Boudreau style in 2022, but the lack of coaching surely showed and Tocchet was clear that he wanted players to play a tight system and they would be held responsible for their play. And over this past year, the players have bought into their coaches plan.

I will be the first one to admit I was wrong with my prediction at the start of the year. The Canucks are a really good team and while I hate to count the chickens before they come home to roost, this is a playoff team. They still have a lot to work on over the next 47 games and tonight will be a test for the Canucks to end the year. Back in the 90s, the Canucks last game of almost every year would be against the Flyers. Unfortunately, with all the teams, the NHL schedule maker, who hates the Canucks, hasn't brought the Flyers for the end of the year game since 2013. The first time these teams met this year, the Canucks were handed there first loss of the season. The Flyers have some big bodies and can skate. The Canucks will have to find a way to get through the neutral zone. The Flyers are having a pretty good year so far under Torts. I wonder if he still thinks the Canucks are a "soft" team? Tocchet has used that word a few times over the past year when it comes to his team's play, so let's hope they can play a physical game tonight.

Flyers projected lineup

Owen Tippett -- Sean Couturier -- Travis Konecny

Tyson Foerster -- Morgan Frost -- Cam Atkinson

Joel Farabee -- Ryan Poehling -- Bobby Brink

Nicolas Deslauriers -- Scott Laughton -- Garnet Hathaway

Cam York -- Travis Sanheim

Nick Seeler -- Sean Walker

Egor Zamula -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Samuel Ersson

Carter Hart

Scratched: Marc Staal, Rhett Gardner, Cal Petersen

Injured: Noah Cates (broken foot)

Canucks projected lineup

Ilya Mikheyev -- Elias Pettersson -- Andrei Kuzmenko

Nils Hoglander -- J.T. Miller -- Brock Boeser

Dakota Joshua -- Teddy Blueger -- Conor Garland

Nils Aman -- Pius Suter -- Sam Lafferty

Quinn Hughes -- Filip Hronek

Nikita Zadorov -- Tyler Myers

Ian Cole -- Noah Juulsen

Casey DeSmith

Thatcher Demko

Scratched: Mark Friedman, Phillip Di Giuseppe

Injured: Carson Soucy (foot), Guillaume Brisebois (concussion)

Status report

Cates, a forward, resumed skating with the Flyers for the first time since beinh injured Nov. 25 but is not expected to play on this four-game road trip. … Ersson is expected to make his sixth start in seven games with Hart likely to start at the Seattle Kraken on Friday. … Tippett moves up from the second to first line … DeSmith starts for the third time in six games. … Soucy, a defenseman, took part in the Canucks morning skate for the first time since blocking a shot Nov. 12, but was lined up as a forward for most of it; he was expected to miss 6-8 weeks and coach Rick Tocchet said he is “getting close” to returning without giving a specific timeline. - NHL.COM

On a personal note, 2023 has been a roller-coaster year for Nucks Misconduct. After getting the news that SBN was dropping hockey coverage and NM on Jan 20th, 2023, most of us thought that the ride was over. So I would like to give a big shout out to Beggsy for getting us our logo and name to keep. I would like to thank Kent for sticking with us, even though he could literally go write for anyone else and get paid. And finally, a big thank you to Jimmi for setting up the new home for Nucks Misconduct. I have the easiest job of the group, I just show up and write my thoughts and then get to interact with all of you. While we don't have the numbers of people we had a year ago, we have a stronger group that must really love the Canucks to follow us to a new home.

Game Day Battle Hymn

2023 is coming to an end and while this franchise has found 53 ways to break our hearts, I think the goal of getting this team back into the playoffs is going to be a success and who knows...maybe get a hot Thatcher Demko...We'll see.

Let's end the year with a win!

Go Canucks Go!


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