Coming off a massive win in New Jersey as they continue this tough seven game road trip, the Canucks now face a back to back against the New Yorks, with the Eastern Conference leading Rangers first up. Time for a little payback, perhaps?
CANUCKS (25-11-3) at NEW YORK RANGERS (26-10-2)
MADISON SQUARE GARDENS, NEW YORK, NY
4:00 PM PST
Saturday's win in New Jersey was far more than just an important two points for the Vancouver Canucks. Bouncing back from a disappointing loss in St Louis, as well as a massive confidence boost to get their first win in New Jersey since 2013 sets them up rather well for a battle against the Eastern Conference leaders, the New York Rangers.
The Rangers are just a point ahead of the Canucks in the overall standings, and a regulation win will see Vancouver leapfrog them and move into 2nd overall, as well as getting them to within one point of the Western Conference leaders, the Winnipeg Jets.
The last time these teams met was in October, as the tail end of a back to back at home for the Canucks. The game was as billed, two of the NHL's top teams in the standings going toe to toe, and it appeared to be headed for a shootout to decide it when a brutal non-call in OT in the Rangers favour directly led to the OT winner from K'Andre Miller.
That game also featured a moment that will live in Canucks history:
The Canucks have gotten a massive contribution from the rest of their Dcore this season compared to the last few, and they'll likely need it again tonight against the Rangers. And as Jeff Paterson wrote over at Canucks Army, the goalies aren't the only ones who could use a rest. Defensive load management should be something this team is engaging in the rest of the way.
This game is another measuring stick for the Canucks, and having acquitted themselves well in a number of these tests so far this season, we're eager to see how they match up in the last opportunity before they meet for a rematch of the 1994 Finals. Can you imagine? Also, skate jersey full time in the playoffs, please, including a white version. Do it already!
Written in green ooze on the underside of a manhole cover in the Bronx, was this potential lineup for tonight. Rumour has it, you can also find it on nhl dot com...
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
Scratched: Noah Juulsen, Mark Friedman, Linus Karlsson
Injured: Phillip Di Giuseppe (lower body), Guillaume Brisebois (concussion)
Rangers projected lineup
Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Blake Wheeler
Artemi Panarin -- Vincent Trocheck -- Alexis Lafreniere
Brennan Othmann -- Nick Bonino -- Jonny Brodzinski
Will Cuylle -- Barclay Goodrow -- Jimmy Vesey
Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox
K'Andre Miller -- Jacob Trouba
Erik Gustafsson -- Braden Schneider
Scratched: Zac Jones
Injured: Kaapo Kakko (lower body), Filip Chytil (upper body), Tyler Pitlick (lower body)
Nikita Zadorov is back in after missing Saturday, but he'll be going into Juulsen's spot to skate with Ian Cole, and the pairing of Myers and Soucy remains for now. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see some shuffling to address the issues a team like the Rangers can give a team, though.
GAME DAY CHATTER
Well, so much for the load management. Shame, because Juulsen's been steadily improving since he came back from the stretch of 11 straight healthy scratches. I mean, there's not a lot to complain about right now, but he's earned his spot.
What a difference a year makes, eh?
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
What am I supposed to do here, not introduce you to a band called NEON CHICKEN? Of course I am, dammit. This Australian one man band released its debut EP last year entitled 'Industrial Slavery' and it's a solid slab of modern thrash with some serious guitar chops. Sure, a lot of these one person projects never add members and play live, but that's no reason to discount them. Silly name aside, this is a promising debut.