Vancouver Canucks gameday: Habs greated with snow on west coast

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 7: Markus Granlund
VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 7: Markus Granlund /

With three games left going before the holiday break, the Vancouver Canucks need to re-gain traction after falling 6-1 to the Calgary Flames last Sunday. But without leading scorer Brock Boeser in the line-up, can the Sedins step up and youthfully produce in his absence?

Four of the Vancouver Canucks’ last six games were blow-outs, including Sundays loss to Calgary. Calgary is better team, therefore the Flames leaving B.C. with the win isn’t surprising. It’s how that night unfolded that is still causing the heads of Canucks fans to hang.

Not only did the Canucks defense collapse and allow six goals against, the last piece of their top line was injured. After blocking a shot with his left foot in the second period, Brock Boeser was in so much pain he could barely leave the ice. He did not return to game after eventually making it to the bench.

However, Boeser is scheduled to play tonight, according to Ben Kuzma.

The win against San Jose showed that the Canucks can beat their opponents. However, only when their entire forward unit contribute more than they are expected to. Lucky for the depleted roster of an already low scoring team in the Canucks, the Montreal Canadians are also without key players.

Hosting the Canadians always makes for a buzzing crowed at Rogers Arena. If the Vancouver Canucks can exploit a Canadians team who is without their top-defenceman, Shea Weber , perhaps they can feed of the energy and ride the momentum into the New year,

So in a Canadian clash, who gets the big points? Here’s all you need to know for tonight.

104. Final. 0. 152. 0

Vancouver Canucks


2017-18 record: 15-15-4

2016-17 record vs Canadians: 0-2-0

Goals for: 88

Goals against: 104

Injuries courtesy of RotoWorldBrandon Sutter (upper body,-day-to day), Bo Horvat (ankle, out six-to-eight weeks), Chris Tanev (groin, out two-three weeks), Sven Baertschi (broken jaw, out four-to-six weeks).

Who’s on offence

Without Boeser in the mix for the Vancouver Canucks, the question really is: who is on offense?

Markus Granlund, one of the few bright spots in Sunday’s loss actually scored against his former Calgary team. Despite losing, hopefully Grandlund can continue riding his points-streak.

More from The Canuck Way

Against the Sharks on Friday, Grandlund scored two goals. You better believe he will be given plenty of opportunities with the all the B-53s on the shelf.

Let’s hope more responsibility is the spark Granlund needs to elevate his point totals.

Reid Boucher got the call-up in the wake of Boeser’s injury. This was an easy decision for Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning. Boucher has arguably the second best shot in the organization.

Boucher has 13 goals and 25 points in 25 American Hockey League games playing for the Utica Comets this season. In a well deserved opportunity to play with the big club, Boucher has to demonstrate that shot of his.

Neither Boucher nor Boeser thrive defensively; thus, they are mostly used in offensive situations. If Travis Green employs Boucher in similar situations as Boeser, he could thrive.

Who’s on defence

Erik Gudbranson was taken off injured reserve this morning according to CBS Sports. The Vancouver Canucks have a predominately offensive blue-line with little grit. For that reason alone the Canucks will absolutely activate the big man. Especially with Tanev out a couple more weeks.

Alex Biega will probably sit-out in Gudbrason’s return. That should make for some more interesting line shuffling in practice and during tonight’s game.

Who’s in net

Jacob Markstrom is head Coach Travis Green’s number one goaltender it seems. With a day of rest between the blow-out to Calagry, there’s no reason to expect he will sit.

According to GoaliePost, Markstrom is getting the nod this evening.

Projected lineup

Daniel Sedin—Henrik Sedin— Thomas Vanek

Reid Boucher—Sam Gagner—Loui Eriksson

Nikolay Goldobin—Alex Burmistrov—Jake Virtanen

Markus Granlund—Nic Dowd—Brendan Gaunce

Alexander Edler—Derrick Pouliot

Alex Biega—Troy Stecher

Michael Del Zotto—Erik Gudbranson

*lineups courtesy of Daily Faceoff

Montreal Canadians


2017-18 record: 14-15-3

2016-17 record vs Canucks: 2-0-0

Goals for: 87

Goals against: 103

Injuries courtesy of RotoWorld: Weber (foot, indefinitely), Ales Hemsky (concussion, day-today), Artturi Lehkonen (lower body, indefinitely), Al Montoya (concussion, indefinitely)

Who’s on offence

Right now Jonathan Drouin is fifth in scoring for the Canadians with 17 points in 28 games. He is almost tied with the likes of Brendan Gallagher and Philip Danault who are good players, but not the level the Canadians want Drouin to be at.

Max Pacioretty is under-performing as well with only eight goals on the season. The five-time 30 goal scorer has significantly slowed down this year. So much so, that whispers of his name are circulating in trade rumors.

Who’s on defence

With Weber now out indefinitely upon playing on an an injured foot for almost a month according to Halford & Brough of TSN 1040, it’s now up to Jeff Petry and Jordie Benn to hold the fort.

Both players are fine hockey players. The Vancouver Island native Benn has more edge to his game, while Petry is a more well-rounded defensemen with a respectable 11 points this season. However, neither are bonafide top-four blue-liners, and no one can replace what Weber brings to a team.

Who’s in net

Coming off a 3-0 loss in the outdoors game in Ottawa, Carey Price is looking to bounce-back against a Vancouver Canucks team that has little firepower due to injury.

Projected lineup

Max Pacioretty—Jonothan Drouin—Paul Byron

Alex Galchenyuk—Philip Danault—Andrew Shaw

Charles Hudon—Thomas Plekanec—Brenden Gallagher

Nicolas Deslauriers—Byron Froese—Daniel Carr

Karl Alzner—Jeff Petry

Jordie Benn—Jakub Jerabek

Joe Morrow—David Schlemko

*lineups courtesy of Daily Faceoff


Andrew Nazareth

Final. 1. 152. 2. 104

2-1 Canucks. Eriksson and Vanek score and Jacob Markstrom starts.

Tyler Shipley

Final. 2. 152. 3. 104

The news that Boeser’s injury is short term will be as positive in the Canucks locker room as it was in my car when I found out. A weight is lifted and hope is back on the menu. A spirited bounce back will end with a Canucks win in OT, and my boy Reid Boucher will get his first goal in the NHL this season on PP2.

Alex Hoegler

152. 2. 104. Final. 4

4-2, Canadiens. The Habs are struggling like the Canucks, but at least have a world class goalie in Carey Price to bail them out. The Habs get some goals from Galchenyuk and Pacioretty to win a sloppy contest.

Scott Rosenhek

4. 104. Final. 2. 152

After exhaling a sigh of relief that Boeser’s foot isn’t broken, the Canucks will show the same spine they had against San Jose. Boeser won’t be playing, but I demand Tyler Shipley’s boy, Reid Boucher, to get to the game winner.

Next: Canucks: Jim Benning shouldn't make any trades

Daniel Sedin should get the opening goal and Brendan Gallagher will light the lamp for the Habs. It won’t be a pretty game. I expect it to be downright boring, but it’s the only way the Canucks can win at this point. They have surrendered 21 goals in their last four games. It’s time to prove that there is still fiht left in them. Otherwise, we are no better than the Oilers