Preseason games come fast and furious in the NHL. After suffering a OT 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night, the Canucks face the Arizona Coyotes on Monday at Rogers Arena.
Venue: Rogers Arena, Vancouver
Time: 7 pm
TV: Sportsnet Pacific
Radio: TSN 1040
For the first time Canucks fans will see Brandon Sutter in preseason play and promising defenceman, Troy Stecher, gets another look.
Markstrom starts Monday night for the #Canucks.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 3, 2016
Here are the expected line combinations for tonight:
What to watch tonight
1. Demko to Utica
You won’t see super-prospect Thatcher Demko tonight, as he was officially sent down to the Utica Comets. This should come as no surprise, as the Comets will need goaltenders to get ready for their season, and Demko will be a fixture there.
2. Anton Rodin
Anton Rodin seems to be showing as advertised. The 25-year-old from Stockholm, Sweden clearly has the ability to score, but can he remain consistent in a long NHL season? Even more of a question is if Rodin can physically handle the riggers of a full NHL season.
Those questions will be answered in due time, but Canucks fans have to be encouraged with how Rodin has looked in preseason.
Rodin is, in a sense, “found gold.” When he left the AHL to return home from Sweden the likelihood of him ever coming back to the NHL seemed remote and now it appears as though he may become a very useful player for the Canucks.
3. Will Forsling trade haunt Canucks?
Perhaps the biggest news of the day did not involve a Vancouver Canuck player, but a former Canucks draft pick that looks to be on the verge of making the Chicago Blackhawks.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) October 3, 2016
Gustav Forsling, a 5th round pick in the 2014 NHL entry draft, was seen as one of Jim Benning’s biggest steals in his first draft as Canucks GM, but Benning traded him for the perceived more NHL ready Adam Clendening. Nothing wrong with the idea of trading a future prospect for a prospect that may be closer to making an NHL impact, however, if Forsling is to make the Blackhawks, Benning is going to be under fire.
Don’t forget that this is not the first time that Benning has used this strategy to build up the Canucks prospect pipeline. Sven Baertschi was acquired for the Canucks 2015 2nd round pick.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
4. New-look Coyotes
The Coyotes had quite an offseason. Newly named GM, John Chayka, took very little time putting his stamp on the team with deals that brought Alex Goligoski, Jacob Chychrun, and Radim Vrbata into the fold.
The youngest GM in NHL history used the Coyotes’ massive cap space to his advantage in the trade for Pavel Datsyuk that led to the draft pick of Chychrun and did it once again when acquiring the contract of David Bolland to land prospect Lawson Crouse. Chayka also brazenly bought out Antoine Vermette.
The Coyotes are a team with a stockpile of exciting young players. They’re are on their way to becoming a powerhouse a few years down the road.
The Canucks are icing a better team than last night and will want to get on a roll as the preseason comes to a close. Look for Vancouver to play a strong 60 minutes and win 5-2.