10 p.m. ET; SNP, SCRIPPS
The Canucks return home tonight after a wonderful....glorious....spectacular road trip that solidified their chances of making the playoffs. Can you forgive the loss to Columbus? I can't. "But...but, Westy, it was the last game of a 7 game trip and they had to deal with terrible weather and poor food and tiredness!" Still got to find a way to beat a bad team. I appreciate the Bettman point, but out of all the teams they played, that should have been the automatic win. During the road trip there are a couple numbers that should be talked about. The PK was above average at 85% (17/20), which is amazing for this team. The PP came in at 14% (2/14), which is not as great. Now both numbers make sense if you think about the season. Teams have time to adjust to other team's powerplays and so PK numbers go up and PP numbers go down. It should be a wake up to the PP to start thinking about new wrinkles when the playoffs start. The number of penalties will be talked about as well. The discipline has been better this year, but taking 3 more penalties than drawing led to one more goal against on the trip.
Tonight the Canucks face Arizona for the first time this year. The Yotes are everything I expected the Canucks to be when it comes to their record. They are a perfect .500 team. They have beaten some good teams this year like Boston, Colorado and Vegas and have struggled against some good teams like LA and Winnipeg. They score 3 goals a game and allow 3 goals a game. Their special teams are as special as their arena. (Not special)
Coyotes projected lineup
Clayton Keller -- Jack McBain -- Matias Maccelli
Jason Zucker -- Alex Kerfoot -- Lawson Crouse
Logan Cooley -- Nick Bjugstad -- Dylan Guenther
Michael Carcone -- Liam O'Brien
J.J. Moser -- Sean Durzi
Travis Dermott -- Matt Dumba
Troy Stecher -- Michael Kesselring
Scratched: Juuso Valimaki
Injured: Nick Schmaltz (upper body), Barrett Hayton (lower body), Vladislav Kolyachonok (lower body), Travis Boyd (upper body)
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, Linus Karlsson
Injured: Phillip Di Giuseppe (lower body), Guillaume Brisebois (concussion)
Schmaltz, a forward, did not take part in the Coyotes morning skate Thursday and will be a game-time decision after leaving in the second period of a 3-2 overtime loss at the Calgary Flames on Tuesday; if Schmaltz can’t play, Arizona will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen for a third straight game. … Carcone returns after being a healthy scratch the past two games. … Ingram will make his fourth start in five games. ... The Canucks held an optional morning skate Thursday but are expected to dress the same lineup they used in a 4-3 shootout loss at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday. ... Demko will start for the ninth time in 12 games.
Game Day Battle Hymn.
Instead of one particular song to enjoy, I decided to hook you up with multiple songs that you can enjoy during the intermissions. The War on Drugs has a style that is perfect for relaxing on the couch on a weekend or putting on during a roadtrip (missed that). KEXP in Seattle has lots of performances by many different styles of musicians, so check out their Youtube page.
Go Canucks Go!