The Vancouver Canucks open a seven-game homestand on Wednesday as the Montreal Canadiens come to town.
The Canucks are coming off a four-game Eastern Conference road trip and it concluded with a big 6-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. Vancouver finished the road trip with a respectable 3-1 record.
These two teams last met on November 29 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Vancouver ended up winning 2-1.
This game and the homestand are a great opportunity for the Canucks to make up some ground in the wild card race. They are currently five points behind the Dallas Stars for the final wild card spot.
“We just have to win,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau on Wednesday morning. “There’s no sugar-coating. Winning the week will be great, but now we got to be a bit better than that.”
“We are proud we brought ourselves back into a position to fight for a playoff spot,” said Canucks captain Bo Horvat. “These are the games you play for.”
It looks like Boudreau will put out the same lineup from the win over the Leafs. That means Thatcher Demko is getting the start between the pipes.
Tucker Poolman has started skating but he remains out with a non-COVID related illness. Jason Dickinson is still out with an undisclosed injury and Kyle Burroughs is still out with an upper body injury.
After a surprise run to the Stanley Cup Final last year, the Canadiens have been one of the worst teams in the league this season. With 37 points, they currently sit dead last in the NHL.
However, the Canadiens have been on a bit of a roll since they fired Dominique Ducharme and brought in Martin St. Louis as the interim coach. Since Ducharme was fired on February 9, the Habs have gone 7-4-0. Their last game was a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
For Montreal, they have had numerous injuries all season which includes Carey Price and Joel Edmundson who have not played yet this season. The Canadiens will have Jake Evans and Paul Byron back in the lineup on Wednesday night against the Canucks.
The Habs will go with Sam Montembeault in net.
Players to watch
Vancouver Canucks- J.T. Miller– The Canucks leading scorer has 17 points in his last nine games. (six goals and 11 assists.)
Montreal Canadiens- Cole Caufield- After a rough start to the season which included him being sent down to the AHL’s Laval Rocket. Since St. Louis arrived, he has scores seven goals and managed seven assists in those 11 games. He leads all Habs in points since St. Louis took over.
Note that the start time is initially 7:30 PM but puck drop is slated to be around 7:52 PM. You can watch the game on Sportsnet Pacific or listen to it on Sportsnet 650.