The Vancouver Canucks are onto round two of their six-game Eastern road trip this evening taking on Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Pnguins.
Last night was hardly the challenge Vancouver Canucks and their fans expected. Currently in the midst of one of the toughest road trips of the season, the Canucks have their work cut out for them in Pittsburgh, despite Evgeni Malkin sitting out with an upper-body injury.
Or do they?
Brock Boeser and the Vancouver Canucks easily took care of the Philadelphia Flyers last night exposing their defensive and collectively scoring. However, as per the theme this year, Boeser lead the offensive charge again.
One question The Province put-forth this morning concerning the match-ups will keep you pondering until puck drop: Who will face-off against Sid the Kid and his line? The big minute-man Brandon Sutter, or Bo Horvat and the B-53s – who together combined for 11 points in the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 win over the Penguins November 4th.
2017-2018 Record: 10-8-2
2017-2018 record against the Penguins: 1-0-0
Goals for: 56
Goals Against: 59
Who’s on offence
Brock Boeser: As mentioned above, the Vancouver Canucks rookie stud has already had success again the Penguins. Furethermore, hs is coming off of a two goal night against the Flyers.
Sam Gagner: Jim Benning’s biggest contract signing of the off-season needs to start earning his pay check and provide secondary scoring. Because defensively, he has been a liability for the Vancouver Canucks.
Who’s on defence?
More from The Canuck Way
- Which team won the Bo Horvat trade?
- What to expect from newcomers Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Räty
- Back to the future: How the skate uniforms became a regular Canucks’ feature night
- Canucks kick off 2023 with disappointing 6-2 loss to Islanders
- 2nd period penalty trouble sinks Canucks in 4-2 loss against Winnipeg
Chris Tanev: Vancouver’s top defensemen did not play in the 5-2 win over last night in Philadelphia, but according to The Province, Tanev may be ready to play ahead of the puck-drop.
v: Overall, the former Western Hockey League star is playing well since being traded to the Vancouver Canucks. Surely Pouliot will be looking to make a splash against his former team
Who’s in net?
Anders Nilsson gets the start tonight. He’s 4-1-1 on the season, and will look to rebound after a tough outing against the St. Louis Blues.
Sven Baertschi-Bo Horvat-Brock Boeser
Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Jake Virtanen
Louis Eriksson-Markus Granlund-Thomas Vanek
Brendan Gaunce-Brandon Sutter-Sam Gagner
Alexander Edler-Derrick Pouliot
Michael Del-Zotto-Alex Biega
Ben Hutton-Erik Gudbranson
2017-2018 Record: 11-8-2
2017-2018 Record against the Canucks: 0-1-0
Goals For: 59
Goals Against: 75
Who’s on offence
Sidney Crosby: Though he has six goals and 10 assists, he is a minus-12 and is only scoring on 8.7% of his shots over his career rate of 14.6%.
Phil Kessel: Currently the point leader on the team, Kessel must keep his current pace going in order for the Penguins to be successful. Without the depth they had last season, and Crosby not performing up to standards, Pittsburgh is depending on their top players more than last season.
Who’s on defence
Kris Letang: A healthy Letang is a dominant Tanger! Currently fourth in scoring on the roster with 15 points, Letang is pivotal to the Penguins back-end.
Olli Maatta: Like Tanger, when healthy the young Finn is a valuable player scoring 11 points in in 22 games this season.
Who’s in net
Unconfirmed, but expect Matt Murray to get the start following a three-day rest.
Connor Sheary-Sidney Crosby-Patric Hornqvist
Bryan Rust-Jake Guentzel-Phil Kessel
Carl Hagelin-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald
Tom Kuhnhackl-Greg Mckegg-Ryan Reaves
Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang
Olli Maata-Justin Shultz
Matt Hunwick-Ian Cole
If Boeser stays hot and finds his scoring touch again, I believe the the Vancouver Canucks can win 3-1. Nilsson will have to be sharp, but he so far he has been just that.
Matt Murray couldn’t be embarrassed by Brock Boeser twice, right? The Flow gets a pair of goals and I will keep saying this until it happens, but Tommy Gun pots one in too. Despite not having Evgeny Malkin, this will be the game Sidney Crosby wakes up. And if he doesn’t, there’s still Phil Kessel to deal with.