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Canucks Game Day: It may be a hub knot, but it’s never easy at the Bell Center

The Vancouver Canucks visit the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday at 4:30pm.

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Vancouver Canucks (3-6-3, 6th Pacific)

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(before Tuesday’s game in Ottawa)

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Montreal Canadiens (5-6-1, 7th in Atlantic)

(before Tuesday’s game in Detroit)

Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. Bell Center.

tv set: SN Pacific. wireless: Sports net 650.

LaBelle Province isn’t the only game. It’s an event.

The Stanley Cup banner, as well as banners honoring many retired franchise legends, hang proudly in the cavernous Bell Center, a constant reminder of better times.

Victories against Rouge, Blanc and Blue will never come easy as the Montreal Canadiens endure a rebuild with dynamic young players like captain Nick Suzuki and Cole Caulfield.

Here’s what Canucks can do to make your evening memorable.

load the gun and pull the trigger

The Canucks achieved the league’s third-best power play after 12 games. The 30.2% efficiency is largely based on unpredictability and delaying units that have been handcuffed to clubs in the past.

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They rank second with 13 power play goals, which is impressive. The Canucks haven’t done enough to score a penalty shootout as he remains 16th in chances. This is the speedy and exciting Connor his Garland specialty.

JT Miller has always preached that power play is the dagger that can make the difference on any night.

Miller’s success as a group despite multiple options with Andrei Kuzmenko looking low to take bait and dish passes, Bo Hobatt in the bumper spot and Elias Pettersson in the shooting spot. I’m a little frustrated that I don’t get any more.

“It’s not all sunshine right now when it comes to power play,” he said. “We’ve scored some goals, but in terms of level of play, execution, winning puck battles and expectations of shots to the net, we’re not where we want to be.

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“We’re going to challenge ourselves to get better. We have the right way to play on the power play and we can get better.”

That means playing faster, being more direct, and not trying to skate seams for a perfect, clean cross-ice feed.

Dakota Joshua (right) brought the physical element needed to the Canucks' fourth line.
Dakota Joshua (right) brought the physical element needed to the Canucks’ fourth line. Photo by Derek Kane /Getty Images File

Fourth line requires grit and purpose

“It needs a village.”

The slogan should be displayed on the T-shirts of members of the 4th Line.

It’s a monotonous job because the job description is tough. Shut down opposing players by playing them in your zone so they’re fast, physical, don’t get penalized, and don’t get scored.

The Canucks had several 4th line alignments that ticked those boxes. They also had the factor of someone who could throw in a goal or two to help take the heat out of the Top 6 mix.

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Tyler Mott, now the third-liner of the Ottawa Senators, was great in that regard. But what about Nils Ammann’s current alignment between Dakota Joshua and Jack Stadnica?

The good news is that undrafted rookie Amann beat the odds by adapting quickly to the North American ice surface and game, earning a spot on the roster. Joshua has the physical bite, Stadnica has the size and speed. Joshua had two goals ahead of Tuesday night’s game in Ottawa, Amann scored his one and rookie Stadnica was yet to score in his first three games.

The Canucks need a goal like the one Joshua scored last Thursday. He got to the net, got on the ground, fought for the rebound, and jammed one home.

Canucks defenseman Riley Stillman (left) engages Minnesota Wild winger Brandon Duhaim in an intense match on Oct. 20 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Canucks defenseman Riley Stillman (left) engages Minnesota Wild winger Brandon Duhaim in an intense match on Oct. 20 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo by Andy Clayton King /AP communication file

A roster roulette fan favorite

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There is no Twitter like Canucks Twitter.

No matter when or which line-up coach Bruce Boudreau chooses, there’s always a big debate about the merits of maintaining the status quo rather than icing a new look.

The latest player in the conversational crosshairs is Riley Stillman, who is paired with Tyler Myers. Left He’s a fine defender on the shot, but has had problems defending in eight games after being acquired in a trade. He is minus six in his 12th penalty minutes.

He’s looking to Jack Rathbone, who has played four games and sat out the final three before Tuesday, for a look on the left flank. And he finally got it against the Ottawa Senator.

After a glorious rookie season scoring 40 points in the American Hockey League, it always seemed natural for him to bring the speed and passing dimensions to the back end. Rathbone’s defense is excellent thanks to his smart stick-his position to fend off opposition, but the Canucks need a physical down-low presence.

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Let that argument and others rage.



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Canucks Game Day: It may be a hub knot, but it’s never easy at the Bell Center

Source link Canucks Game Day: It may be a hub knot, but it’s never easy at the Bell Center

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