7:30 p.m. ET; MSGSN, SNP
How about those fucking Canucks! If it wasn't for the 4 remaining games on this road trip, we would label the trip a rousing success! And yet those games still exist and the Canucks still have to win those games to put some more room between the Nucks and Vegas and LA.
Last's night game was another pleasant surprise. After quickly taking a penalty and giving up a PP goal, the Lotto went out and responded quickly to take the NY crowd out of the game. The two quick goals near the end of the period stunned the Rangers even more. After the Rangers scored midway through the 2nd, the Canuck fan in me was waiting for the collapse....it was coming. But then something weird happened....the system that Taco has been preaching all year, prevented that collapse. Forwards were coming back to the defensive zone and even the Rangers announcers saw how tough the Nucks forecheck was. The Rangers couldn't build on that goal and then Petey put on his cape and scored a goal that was stopped once by Igor....but not twice. It was followed very quickly by Nils "I should have traded 4 times last year" Hoglander, with a between the legs pass himself for a 5-2 goal. The penalty kill in the third period was icing on the cake to this wonderful victory!
Today, the Canucks shimmy over to Long Island to face former captain Bo and the Islanders. Bo is in his 2nd year with the Islanders, but 1st year of his $8.5 million/yr contract. (too high!) The Islanders are already in the thick of the fight for a playoff start in the Metro division, as 2 points separates 3rd and 7th place. The Isles have a half decent PP but their PK is 2nd to last in the league, so hopefully the Canucks can take advantage of that, if they get to have a PP at all in New York. I think there might be a state law that negates any powerplays to B.C. teams.
This road trip is really the starting point for management to think about if this is the team that they want as they head into the playoffs. While it is only Jan 9th, the trade window has opened as seen with yesterday's trade of Philly's 2022 5th overall pick, Cutter Gauthier to Anaheim for defenseman James Drysdale and a pick. The Flyers had a top prospect say they don't want to play for Philly and they filled his space with a good young defenseman that can help them try and get to the playoffs. The Canucks
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)
Islanders projected lineup
Anders Lee -- Bo Horvat -- Mathew Barzal
Pierre Engvall -- Brock Nelson – Kyle Palmieri
Simon Holmstrom -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Julien Gauthier
Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck
Alexander Romanov -- Noah Dobson
Adam Pelech -- Scott Mayfield
Mike Reilly -- Sebastian Aho
Scratched: Oliver Wahlstrom, Hudson Fasching, Samuel Bolduc
Injured: Ryan Pulock (lower body), Semyon Varlamov (day to day), Robert Bortuzzo (lower body)
DeSmith is expected to start after Demko started the previous four games, including making 39 saves in a 6-3 win at the New York Rangers on Monday. ... Pelech will be a game-time decision after missing 20 games with a lower-body injury; he was activated off long-term injured reserve Tuesday. ... Sorokin will make his seventh start in eight games. ... Varlamov, a goalie who has missed two games, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. ~NHL.com
Game Day Battle Hymn
Kent has caught on me and John Tesh, so I had to go another direction. Bo Horvat had his video farewell in the last game between these two teams, so we can officially cut ties with him. Violent Femmes song, "Gone Daddy Gone" expresses the feeling that the love is gone for Bo....and now we need to beat his ass. The song doesn't imply the last point....I did.
Go Canucks Go!