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Hockey, Sports

Canucks look for more 2012 morning magic in Boston

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Ian Lusher Feb 10, 2017 8:10 am 509

How could any Canucks fan forget the morning of January 7, 2012?

Canucks… Bruins… Game 8!

Here we are again (Game 15, Canucks lead the series 8-6) with a Saturday morning start in Boston, but the backstory couldn’t be more different. The Canucks are slipping out of the playoff hunt while the Bruins are playing their second game without recently fired bench boss, Claude Julien.

See also

Matchup

Vancouver Canucks (24-24-6, 54 points) vs Boston Bruins (27-23-6, 60 points)

Venue: TD Garden, Boston

Time: 10 am PT (Saturday)

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: TSN 1040

By the numbers

  Canucks Bruins
Goals for 2.30 (27th) 2.63 (17th)
Goals against 2.81 (18th) 2.68 (12th)
Power play % 15.2 (27th) 20.0 (14th)
Penalty kill % 79.0 (24th) 86.2 (2nd)
Shots for 27.9 (28th) 34.5 (1st)
Shots against 31.1 (10th) 26.4 (29th)
Faceoff % 52.1 (5th) 53.1 (3rd)

Lineup

The lineup will likely remain unchanged from Thursday night’s 3-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ryan Miller is likely to get the start in goal again after posting a shutout.

D. Sedin H. Sedin Granlund
Burrows Horvat Hansen
Megna Sutter Eriksson
Skille Chaput Boucher
Edler Stecher
Sbisa Tanev
Hutton Tryamkin
Miller

What you need to know

1. Miller has to be great

If the Canucks are to play meaningful games in March, it will come down to one player: Ryan Miller.

Willie Desjardins has the Canucks playing a style for which success is predicated on the goaltender being the first star of nearly every game.

Miller posted his third shutout of the season on Wednesday night and is doing everything he can to keep the Canucks in the hunt, but he is 36.

The coach is overplaying his #1 goalie and it is going to hurt Vancouver sooner rather than later.

2. Tryamkin making it easy for Benning to trade a defenceman

I write about Nikita Tryamkin too much. I admit it.

Tryamkin’s ability to play both the left and right side gives Jim Benning options when it comes to the trade deadline. If Benning were to trade one of Luca Sbisa, Ben Hutton, Chris Tanev, or even Alex Edler, the Canucks will be in good shape on the blue line.

I can’t think of a better team for Tryamkin to play against than the Boston Bruins as a true barometer as to where his game is at.

To quote the infamous Reverend Brown, “If lovin’ Tryamkin is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!”

3. The curious case of the Boston Bruins

New coach, same fans, same rat.

The Bruins fired Claude Julien on Monday and replaced him with Bruce Cassidy. Julien had been behind the Boston bench for almost a decade and actually had the Bruins playing quite well given their dubious personnel decisions in the offseason.

The Bruins made a splash by signing David Backes to a five-year, $30 million contract in the offseason. Backes has struggled this season with just 12 goals and 13 assists in 48 games. It is hard to imagine a team using so much cap space on a player with such low scoring output. Ok, maybe not.

Brad Marchand leads the Bruins in scoring with 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists).

The Bruins are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and sit fourth in the Atlantic Division.

Prediction

I don’t like the Canucks’ chances in Boston without Cody Hodgson in the lineup and these early games have never been friendly to Vancouver.

Ryan Miller may give it his best, but don’t expect another gem. The Bruins take this one 4-1 and Rob Williams starts a campaign to bring CoHo out of retirement.


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Ian Lusher
Lifelong Canucks fan, lover of all things Seinfeld, and avid Yankees fan.

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