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Game Preview / Gamethread #69: Canucks vs Sabres

March 19, 2024
- Westy

SABRES (33-31-5) at CANUCKS (42-18-8)

10 p.m. ET; SNP, MSG-B

Before we get into tonight's game, I want to ask a question directly to Coach Taco.

"Why is Suter playing with Boeser and Miller?"

Serious question. Suter has 4 points in the past 10 games (1 goal, 3 assists). And more importantly, he only has 10 shots in those 10 games. Now, I know you could say that he is not the guy you want shooting on that line, but the 3 assists might be a bigger problem. You have to guys that should be getting lots of shots on net and Suter is not a set up guy. Suter is great bottom six guy...willing to get into the corners....forechecking, but he is not a top 6 kind of guy.

And yet Batch showed this for the practice:

Höglander/ Pettersson/ Garland. Suter/ Miller/ Boeser. Mikheyev/ Lindholm/ Lafferty. Podkolzin/ Blueger/ Åman.

I am not sure how Taco addressed this gap in the top 6. Miky was supposed to be the guy who could score 20+. Moving Lindholm up means that the center position gets weaker. Lafferty is a straight ahead type of guy that is great on the forecheck, but doesn't have the play-making skills or the shot. Aman....no. Podz might be a choice if he can just get a goal to get his confidence going.

Well, tryouts continue tonight against the Sabres as the Canucks try to get back to something called winning. Scoring in the first shift seems to be a bad omen, so maybe the Canucks wait until the second shift and then score 4 more. The Sabres are very much like the Caps, as they are looking for a playoff spot. That kind of hunger is hard to play against. The Canucks are going to have to keep skating....

Sabres projected lineup

Zemgus Girgensons -- Tage Thompson -- Alex Tuch

Jordan Greenway -- Dylan Cozens -- Zach Benson

Jeff Skinner -- Peyton Krebs -- JJ Peterka

Eric Robinson -- Tyson Jost -- Victor Olofsson

Bowen Byram -- Rasmus Dahlin

Owen Power -- Henri Jokiharju

Jacob Bryson -- Connor Clifton

Devon Levi

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Scratched: Kale Clague, Lukas Rousek, Eric Comrie

Injured: Jack Quinn (lower body), Mattias Samuelsson (upper body)

Canucks projected lineup

Pius Suter -- J.T. Miller -- Brock Boeser

Nils Hoglander -- Elias Pettersson -- Conor Garland

Ilya Mikheyev -- Elias Lindholm -- Sam Lafferty

Nils Aman -- Teddy Blueger -- Vasily Podkolzin

Quinn Hughes -- Filip Hronek

Carson Soucy -- Nikita Zadorov

Ian Cole -- Tyler Myers

Casey DeSmith

Arturs Silovs

Scratched: Mark Friedman, Noah Juulsen, Phillip Di Giuseppe

Injured: Thatcher Demko (lower body), Dakota Joshua (upper body)

Status report

The Sabres did not have a full morning skate following a 6-2 win at the Seattle Kraken on Monday. Levi was recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Saturday and could start; he hasn't played in the NHL since Jan. 24. … The Canucks had an optional morning skate but are changing all four lines, with Garland moving up from the third to second line, Mikheyev dropping from the first to third and Di Giuseppe being replaced by Aman, who was a healthy scratch the past nine games, on the fourth line

Game Day Battle Hymn

Metal hasn't worked...I am sorry. We have to shift the sound. Close to metal and yet not grunge anymore. It has drums and a driving beat that slow skates can pick up speed to. I can't believe their first album was 33 years ago. Enjoy the new song.

Go Canucks Go!

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