Gameday Preview: Vancouver Canucks vs. Colorado Avalanche (March 23rd)

Nov 17, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard (49) checks Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (40) in the third period at Rogers Arena. Colorado won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 17, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard (49) checks Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (40) in the third period at Rogers Arena. Colorado won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports /
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Can the Vancouver Canucks find better luck on the road?

After posting a 2-3-2 record over their recent seven-game homestand, the team will be heading south of the border, hoping to bounce back against Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Despite the mediocre home performances, Vancouver is still mathematically in the playoff hunt, but have a mighty large task ahead of them to kick off their four-game road trip.

Colorado has once again proven themselves as one of the NHL’s biggest powerhouses, sitting atop the league with 95 points in 63 games. The Avalanche have also been extremely dominant at home, only surrendering three regulation losses in their past 48 games dating back to last season.

Vancouver, on the other hand, are nowhere near the Avalanche in the standings, sitting seven points back of the third-place Edmonton Oilers in the Pacific Division. The team is still within striking distance of the Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets for the second and final wild card position in the Western Conference, but both teams have games in hand over Vancouver, which makes their current postseason climb even more steep.

The Canucks took to the ice at Ball Arena for their morning practice earlier today, giving both fans and media a glimpse of the possible line combinations ahead of Wednesday night’s tilt.

With Tyler Motte officially in the Big Apple, head coach Bruce Boudreau was forced to alter his third line, slotting newly acquired centre Brad Richardson between Juho Lammikko and Matthew Highmore.

It also appears that sophomore Nils Höglander is still sidelined with a lower-body injury, opening the door for Nic Petan to play in his fifth consecutive game with the big club.

Similar to the forward group, Boudreau also had a new face on the blueline in Travis Dermott.

Dermott, who was acquired via trade on Monday, is expected to make his Canuck debut alongside Brad Hunt on the third pairing.

During the pre-game media availability, Boudreau also confirmed that Jaroslav Halak would be getting the nod between the pipes.

Halak has struggled mightily as of late, allowing 14 goals in his last four appearances to bring his overall record to 2-6-2 on the year. However, given Vancouver’s back-to-back schedule to kick off the road trip, as well as their sheer desperation for points, it was expected for Halak to start one of the contests to give Thatcher Demko a much-needed rest.

Puck drop is set for 6:30pm PST.

Next. Betting odds and predictions vs. Avalanche (March 23rd). dark

What are your thoughts heading into Wednesday night’s tilt in Colorado? Let us know in the comments!