Entering their penultimate game of the preseason, the Vancouver Canucks have managed a mediocre 1-2-2 record thus far. They’ll take on Calgary for the second and final time this preseason before opening up the 2016-17 campaign against the Flames at home on Saturday, October 15th.
Some strong play before the games truly count would be nice to see and would bode well for the upcoming season.
Venue: Rogers Arena
Time: 7 pm
TV: Sportsnet 360
Radio: TSN 1040
1. Sedins and Eriksson
After playing on a line together at the World Cup of Hockey, the Sedins, and their new linemate Loui Eriksson, will play together tonight for the first time in a Canucks uniform.
A free agent acquisition this summer, Eriksson brings a responsible two-way game that compliments the Sedins nicely. In fact, barring a few unsustainable stretches from Alex Burrows and Radim Vrbata, the argument could easily be made that Eriksson is the most skilled linemate the Sedins have ever had.
Benning’s latest experiment begins in earnest this evening.
Sedins expected to play Thursday. But that's likely their only game. Which is probably fine, except for PP. A few reps would be ideal
— Blake Price (@BlakePriceTSN) October 3, 2016
2. They hate us cause they ain’t us
What’s with all the hate?!
Two arguably dubious projections have come out recently slotting the Vancouver Canucks squarely in 30th position in the NHL standings. Now, I’m not one of those that believe Vancouver will challenge for a playoff spot, but 63 and 65 points respectively seems a little low.
Expectations are not high this year, but this puts that bar to clear at a manageable spot. For the record, I have the Canucks going 31-43-8 for 70 points.
Our #NHL17 Season Simulation Standings!
Full reveal tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/PqyWxlkfs4
— #NHL17 (@EASPORTSNHL) October 5, 2016
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) October 4, 2016
3. Inching closer to the 23-man lineup
Yesterday, the Canucks released James Sheppard, and reassigned Dmitry Zhukenov (Chicoutimi), Olli Juolevi (London), Joseph LaBate (Utica), and Borna Rendulic (Utica). Today, they put four players on waivers: Andrey Pedan, Mike Zalewski, Jayson Megna, and Michael Chaput.
- Canucks place Andrey Pedan on waivers
- EA Sports simulator predicts Canucks finish last in NHL in 2016-17
With the possible exception of Pedan, these adjustments shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. With two preseason games remaining, the debates will no doubt begin to heat up regarding who should be staying and who should be on a flight out of Vancouver. The Canucks will likely make two more cuts on defence, and three more on forward.
The Sedins and Louis Eriksson will draw in and Jake Virtanen returns from injury as well.
|D. Sedin||H. Sedin||Eriksson|
With the Sedins back in the lineup against Calgary, there is hope for a win yet. The players still fighting for a roster spot, on both sides, should make this an interesting game too.
After a 3-2 loss to the Flames last week, I’ll take the Canucks to win by a score of 3-1. Bonus prediction: Loui Eriksson gets one on the power play assisted by both Sedins.