Can the Vancouver Canucks get back in the win column against St. Louis?
After falling to the Blues by a score of 4-1 on Monday night, Vancouver will be looking to come out on top during the crucial second half of this home-and-home set on Wednesday night.
It was a fairly successful road trip for the Canucks, who managed to secure five out of a possible eight points from powerhouses like Colorado and Minnesota.
However, with the loss on Monday, the team now sits four points back of the Dallas Stars for the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
St. Louis, on the other hand, gave themselves a bit of a cushion in the Central Division race, putting them only one point back of the Nashville Predators with two games in hand.
The Canucks took a much-needed day off on Tuesday before hitting the ice on Wednesday for their morning skate, givings fans and media a glimpse of what to expect for possible line combinations from head coach Bruce Boudreau.
The 67-year-old bench boss didn’t make any tweaks to his roster, hoping that his players will have enough physical and mental stamina to play a full 60-minute game in front of the home crowd at Rogers Arena.
Boudreau will also be expecting much more from top-six forwards like Tanner Pearson and Conor Garland, who have been rather quiet as of late. Pearson has failed to find the back of the net in his past seven games, while Garland will be looking to snap a 16-game goalless drought heading into Wednesday night.
The team did welcome back some familiar faces to the morning practice, including Jason Dickinson, Kyle Burroughs and Tucker Poolman, all of whom are inching closer to a return.
Highmore will be sitting out for his third-straight contest, once again setting the stage for Will Lockwood to shine on the fourth line, while Höglander continues to recover from a lower-body injury that he suffered during practice back on March 16th.
As expected, the Canucks will turn to Thatcher Demko between the pipes. The 26-year-old got a rare night off on Monday, but will need to be sharp and focused for the remainder of the season to help his team with their improbable playoff push.
The Blues, on the other hand, are expected to go with Ville Husso. The Finnish netminder was solid on Monday night, turning away 35 of 36 shots faced en route to his 17th victory of the year.
With only 14 games remaining on the schedule, Vancouver’s margin for error is becoming more and more slim by the day, setting the stage for what should be an action-packed rematch.
Puck drop is set for 7:00pm PST at Rogers Arena.
What are your thoughts heading into Monday night’s tilt against St. Louis? Let us know in the comments!