Vancouver Canucks Game-Preview: Can the Flyers Soar Over Vancouver?

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 19: Claude Giroux
VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 19: Claude Giroux /

Looking to win their fourth-straight game, the Vancouver Canucks host the Philadelphia Flyers. Finally looking like they are taking off, the Flyers rolled through Calgary and Edmonton, but can they hold up tonight?

Despite the Flyers starting gaining some traction after their season-high ten game slump, this is a must win game for the Vancouver Canucks. News around Bo Horvat and the injury he sustained late in the third period Tuesday night in the 3-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes is all that is circulating twitter right now.

The Canucks must re-group  and try to spark some chemistry with shuffling lines. They have an opportunity to take advantage of a team that hasn’t bought into their coache’s systems like the Canucks have with head coach Travis Green. The Canucks need to win to boost their confidence moving forward without Horvat.

Now, looking past the awful record, the Flyers are a talented team and the Vancouver Canucks need to be alert. However, the loss of Brayden Schenn hurt Philly more than everyone in the hockey world anticipated. Though he is playing beyond expectations with the St. Louis Blues, what he added to the flyers offense cannot be overlooked.

A plug-and-play forward and a minor piece of the deal coming the Flyers’ way in the trade with the Blues was Jori Lehtera. A solid third line hockey veteran put up points and had good possession numbers. Yet, his year thus far with the Flyers has been appalling compared to Schenn’s career season.

The main piece in the trade was a 2017 first-round draft-pick where the Flyers selected Morgan Frost, who say is,

“[a] playmaking pivot who reads the game intelligently…calm and poised…agile on his skates and possesses excellent edgework”.

Perhaps Frost fills the gap at the centre position in the Flyers’ future  top six. Until that transpires, they look to take it game by game, and continue soaring with a win over the Vancouver Canucks tonight.

Vancouver Canucks


2017-18 record: 14-10-4

2017-18 record vs Flyers : 1-0-0

Goals for: 78

Goals against: 77

Injuries courtesy of RotoWorld: Brandon Sutter (upper body,-day-to day), Erik Gudbranson (upper body, week to week), and Bo Horvat (ankle, week-to-week)

Who’s on offence

Jake Virtanen: With Horvat out of the line up, hopefully Virtanen is assigned a more important role and takes advantage of it. He has looked good this season, but maybe is still not able to settle into his game skating under nine minutes a game

More from The Canuck Way

Sven Baertschi: Two weeks ago, all everyone could talk about was Baertschi. But, as he is known to do, Baertschi disappeared from the score sheet. He is still playing great hockey, and him moving to a less talented second line could play a factor. However, with Horvat now absent, he needs to elevate his game.

Who’s on defence

Derrick Pouliot: What is astonishing about Pouliot, is that he is still only 23 years-old—plenty of time to clean up his game. Pouliot is hot right. He scored a beautiful goal Tuesday against Carolina! Right now, he is the Vancouver Canucks’ most offensive defensemen with 10 points.

Also, his possession metrics—what he was praised most about in Pittsburgh —are amazing. Pouliot leads his defencemen in corsi%, and is second on the team in Fenwick.

Jim Benning deserves some praise on this one.

Who’s in net

Jacob Markstrom: Co-controbutor Scott Rosenhek said Markstrom “played incredibly well on Saturday”. I wonder what he would say about his play after Tuesday! Markstrom is finally coming off his first career shut-out. Almost registering it against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the game prior, Markstrom is sharp right now and coach Travis Green tends to ride his thriving goaltenders.

Projected lineup

Daniel Sedin—Henrik Sedin—Lou Eriksson

Nikolay Goldobin—Alex Burmistrov—Brock Boeser

Sven Baertschi—Sam Gagner—Thomas Vanek

Brendan Gaunce—Markus Granlund—Jake Virtanen

Alexander Edler—Derrick Pouliot

Michael Del Zotto—Chris Tanev

Ben Hutton—Troy Stecher

Philadelphia Flyers


2017-2018 Record: 10-11-0

2017-2018 Record against Canucks: 0-1-0

Goals For: 79

Goals Against: 85

Injuries: Micheal Neuvirth (leg, day-to-day),  Brandon Manning (hand, day-to-day), Anthony Stolarz (knee, indefinitely), D Radko Gudas (suspended, returns 12 December.)

Must Read: World Juniors, Bo Horvat, and Forbes Rankings

Who’s on offence

Jakub Voracek: Voracek has various multi-point games this season, including three assists Monday against the Oilers. On pace for 100 points, the 214-pound forward is as frightening as teammate Claude Giroux who is having himself a respectable season statistically.

Nolan Patrick: Like his draft position, Patrick is behind Nico Hischier (and many others) in the 2017-18 Calder race—Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser being one of them. Patrick has only had two goals and six points in the 19 games. Keep in mind though, he was banged up to start the season and has yet to find confidence amidst all that is occurring with his new club.

Patrick is a blooming star; therefore, hockey fans’ eyes are drawn to him. If he can stay healthy, he will have a great career in the NHL.

Who’s on defence

Shayne Gostisbehere: The Ghost is fourth in team scoring with three goals and 20 points. He is pillar puck-moving defensemen for the Flyers. Despite the poor play of his team as of late, Gostisbehere is still even in +/-.

Who’s in net

Brian Elliott: Poor guy cannot catch a break. As Patrick Johnston of the The Pronvince highlights, Elliot’s save % is .905 over his past five games, and his team is not helping by letting him get peppered with shot.

Former Vancouver Canucks forward Dale Weise will dress tonight for the Flyers.

Projected lineup

Claude Giroux–Sean Couturier– Wayne Simmonds

Michael Raffl– Valtteri Filppula– Jakub Voracek

Dale Weise—Nolan Patrick ––Travis Konecny

Taylor Leier–Scott Laughton–Jordan Weal

Ivan Provorov–Andrew MacDonlad

Shayne Gostisbehere–Robert Hagg

Travis Sanheim–Mark Alt

All Projected Line-ups brought to you by


Isha Jahromi

68. 5. 104. Final. 1

If Baertschi steps up, Boeser keeps doing what he does best, and Goldy breaks out with a multi-point game, this one is in the bag! I believe Markstrom will play sound, and the Vancouver Canucks’ defense will ride their positive momentum. With how bad Elliot and his defense are playing, I say 5-1 win. Let’s get back to reality, Marky will let in one softy.

Alex Hoegler

104. Final. 4. 68. 2

The Canucks are going to struggle without Horvat, and the Flyers are finally playing up to their talent level. This is a tough home contest for Vancouver, and I expect them to lose it in a sloppy-filled game.

Scott Rosenhek

3. 68. 4. 104. Final

The Flyers may have ended their embarrassing losing streak in Alberta, but they will find their losing ways at the Roxy. Without Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser will have to put the offence on his shoulders with a pair of goals. Canucks get goals from Eriksson and Goldobin as well.

Drew Nazareth

4. 104. Final. 1. 68

Flyers are tired after disposing of the Oilers. With Horvat out of the lineup, Sam Gagner will emerge and play a great game. Look for him to get onto the score sheet. The Sedin line also picks up the slack and scores

Next: Vancouver Canucks mailbag: Draft targets, prospects, more

Tyler Shipley

3. 68. 1. 104. Final

I was surprised by the quality game Vancouver out together against Carolina, expecting it to be a trap game. I’m guessing it was a trap deferred and the chickens will come home to roost tonight. This doesn’t feel like a team that puts together four wins in a row, not yet at least. Look for Burmistrov to play a good game with top quality wingers and set up the one Canuck goal.