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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators - Dec. 13/17

Can the Sedins recreate their magic from two weeks ago?

Nashville Predators vs. Vancouver Canucks

7:00 p.m. PST, Rogers Arena, Vancouver, B.C.

TV: Sportsnet Pacific, Radio: SN 650

Can anybody score other than Brock Boeser?

With both Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi out of the lineup, the Canucks are going to have to dig deep and find someone else to step up in the absence of two of the Canucks most prolific offensive players.

There are a number of candidates who could step forward and pot a goal, and the Canucks need some of them to step forward if they want to end the skid.

That, or Boeser could just whip up another two-goal game. I don’t think that’s asking too much now, is it?

The Opponent

Even though the Canucks were able to eek out a win against Nashville the last time these two teams met, it remains one of the only blemishes for the Preds over the last month.

Since the beginning of November, Nashville has only lost three games in regulation. One came against the Canucks, one happened on November 1st against the San Jose Sharks.

Their only other regulation loss over the last month and a half came against the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 16th, meaning the Predators have nearly gone one month with the Canucks handing them their only regulation loss.

Since Nov. 1st, the Preds are 13-3-2.

Of the massive three-way trade between the Preds, Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche, Nashville is pulling away as the early winner. Kyle Turris has been a force in Nashville, finding chemistry with linemates Craig Smith and Kevin Fiala.

However, an injury suffered in practice could possibly keep Turris out of the lineup tonight.

The Predators have also been missing Ryan Johansen since Dec. 3rd with a ‘lower body injury.’ If both teams are missing two of their top offensive players, this game could be closer than most would imagine.

Both players, and Scott Hartnell, are all game-time decisions. Nashville also assigned Stanley Cup phenom Frederick Gaudreau to the AHL earlier today, which would hint that at least one, if not both, of their top two centres will play tonight.

The Canucks

Well, no such reinforcements are coming for the Canucks in this one, meaning that some of their slumping forwards will need to pick up the pace.

When you look at the current roster though, you have to wonder: who is going to step up?

Loui Eriksson and Thomas Vanek have ten and nine points respectively in their last 14 games. That’s about the kind of production you would be happy with considering their roles on the team.

Henrik and Daniel have also been performing exceptionally well over the last month, with 13 and 10 points respectively over the last month of hockey.

The finger of shame goes back to players such as Markus Granlund and Sam Gagner. Granlund still hasn’t shown anywhere near the potential he flashed last year, despite now being separated from Brandon Sutter and Derek Dorsett. Gagner still only has one even-strength goal all season.

For Granlund however, he’s not going to get a much better opportunity than this.

Fans should be excited to see Nikolay Goldobin and his offensive talents get back into the lineup. However, he will probably be relied upon as the main playmaker on that line, meaning that it could be a sink or swim game for the young winger.

Game Day Battle Hymn

Even though Horvat and Baertschi’s absence hurts this team in the short term, Canucks fans should be pretty thrilled in the long-term.

Not only does the organization have a number of prospects who are performing well outside of the NHL, but Boeser is doing things in this league that really don’t get enough respect.

NHL Rookie Scoring Impact 2017-18

Boeser is indeed leading the rookie scoring race, but what might be more impressive is that he’s keeping up with the league’s elite. Only Alex Ovechkin has scored a higher percentage of his team’s goals this season.

So I say, smile Canucks fans. This might not be pretty in the short term, but the future is bright looking forward. Get pumped about that.

Enjoy the game, folks.

This post first appeared on Vancouver Canucks Schedule, Roster, News, And Rumo, please read the originial post: here

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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators - Dec. 13/17


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