vs. Minnesota Wild (23-22-10) Monday, February 15th
Leading scorer: Mikko Koivu (11 goals, 37 points)
Keys to the game:
- Four-point game
- Take note of the new bench boss
- Believe in yourself
Historically speaking, the Vancouver Canucks have no reason to lose on Monday against the Minnesota Wild.
Contextually speaking, the Canucks have potentially every reason to lose as they play host to Minnesota. Boom, point one against the Canucks — they are home. The Canucks are 9-11-5 at home, the latest loss coming to the Toronto Marlie Leafs.
If that game against Toronto was a potential Auston Matthews love fest, this match against the Wild is a playoffs struggle fest. The Wild have fallen to equal terms with the Canucks, as both find themselves with 56 points through 55 games. Both tied with the Arizona Coyotes as the best teams outside the playoff picture, the Canucks will do themselves a four-point favour by winning this game and inching closer to the West Wild Cards.
More from The Canuck Way
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- Canucks kick off 2023 with disappointing 6-2 loss to Islanders
- 2nd period penalty trouble sinks Canucks in 4-2 loss against Winnipeg
After eight straight losses, the Wild find themselves playing for a new bench boss. Mike Yeo was relieved of his duties following the Saturday loss to the Boston Bruins. Interim coach John Torchetti will now test his luck with the squad that made waves signing Zack Parise and Ryan Suter a few years back. The team will be excited to start on a fresh slate with a new coach. The coach will want his first win. Beware, Vancouver, the Wild may go wild in Vancouver.
Lastly, there is no reason for the Canucks to lose this one. They have beat the Wild at the Excel Energy Centre earlier this season. Of course, the Canucks were embarrassed a month later. But with Jacob Markstrom set to start this match, the Canucks can believe in themselves that their latest record playing for the 25-year-old netminder can continue trending in the right direction.
The Canucks are 5-0-1 in Markstrom’s past six starts. The Wild are 1-7-2 in their past 10 and are 9-12-6 on the road this season. There is a reason that the Wild had to fire Yeo. There is a reason why Markstrom has such a good record lately. Is there a reason that the Canucks will win on Monday?
Alex Friesen will be making his NHL debut. Could he make a difference? It is time the Canucks found themselves another kid to cheer about.
For a Vancouver win:
Sarah: Both teams have struggled of late but I think it will be the Canucks with a much better effort after that Toronto debacle.
Steve: Predicting Markstrom with his 1st S/O. For whatever reason Nucks play better when Markstrom is in net.
For a Minnesota win:
Janik: With Mike Yeo gone, the Wild will be extra motivated while Vancouver’s lineup is still terrible.
Me: It will be hard-fought, but ultimately the Canucks will collapse in front of Markstrom. Maybe another injury? Welcome to the NHL, Friesen.
Next: Home vs. Anaheim