Canucks’ Game Day: Midday clash with Rangers on Sunday at MSG

 

 
 
 
 
The Vancouver Canucks will be facing King Henrik (a.k.a. Lundqvist) and his New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple. Puck drop is 11 a.m. Vancouver time.
 
 

The Vancouver Canucks will be facing King Henrik (a.k.a. Lundqvist) and his New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple. Puck drop is 11 a.m. Vancouver time.

Photograph by: Abbie Parr, The Province

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Alain Vigneault vs. The Canucks

It’s striking that Vigneault is the third longest-tenured head coach in the NHL. He joined the New York Rangers following an extended run in Vancouver.

AV’s time in Vancouver coincided with the most historic run for the team that culminated in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final loss. Vigneault’s job seemed to be in trouble early, but the Rangers have since turned things around.

1. Goaltending: The Canucks presumed No. 1 goalie Jacob Markstrom was fine against the New Jersey Devils on Friday. He was not fine enough to win the game. He was beat for three goals and it was the fifth time in seven games his save percentage was below .900. This one feels like an Anders Nilsson start, the Canucks’ backup who hasn’t yet been given a chance to get a few consecutive starts.

2. Brock Boeser: Vancouver’s offence already leans heavily on the impressive rookie. He was kept in control by the New Jersey Devils Friday, the first game in five he didn’t score. The Devils paid a lot of attention to Boeser. They shadowed him at times when he didn’t have the puck and Taylor Hall levelled him with a massive hit. Things will only get tougher for Boeser as his story grows this season.

3. The Ryan McDonagh absence: How are the Rangers surviving without McDonagh? New York’s captain will continue to be out for Sunday’s matinee against the Canucks. In Friday’s 2-1 win against Detroit, the Rangers top minute-eater on defence was Brady Skjei. Brendan Smith has been serviceable and the Rangers have been playing him on his offside after a big off-season contract.

4. The Canucks’ power play: It continued its hot streak in New Jersey scoring for the eighth time in six games, since the team moved Boeser and Bo Horvat to the unit with the Sedins. Boeser has been getting all the attention but it was Horvat who scored Friday showing some soft hands in a tight space in front of goalie Cory Schneider. Also encouraging for the Canucks, the second unit has been getting chances.

5. Canucks may not have a matchup line: One of the most significant changes coach Travis Green has made in terms of in-game strategizing in Vancouver is his use of a shutdown line. He has leaned heavily on centre Brandon Sutter to counter top lines from the opposition. But Sutter didn’t finish Friday’s game with an injury and Green is already without Derek Dorsett who flew home to have numbness in his neck checked out.

Sven Baertschi, Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser

Sam Gagner, Brandon Sutter/Alexander Burmistrov, Brendan Gaunce

Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Jake Virtanen

Thomas Vanek, Markus Granlund, Loui Eriksson

Defence pairings

Alex Edler, Derrick Pouliot

Mike Del Zotto, Chris Tanev

Ben Hutton, Troy Stecher

Starting goalie

Anders Nilsson

Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich

Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast

Michael Grabner, J.T. Miller, Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey, Boo Nieves, Paul Carey

Defence pairings

Brendan Smith, Nick Holden

Brady Skjei, Kevin Shattenkirk

Marc Staal, Steven Kampfer

Starting goalie

Henrik Lundqvist

Canucks: 20.2% (15th)

Rangers: 22.8% (9th)

Canucks: 78.3% (22nd)

Devils: 81% (14th)

Canucks

D Brandon Sutter (upper body) day-to-day

F Derek Dorsett (neck/back) week-to-week

Rangers

D Ryan McDonagh (ab strain) day-to-day

Sunday

Vancouver Canucks vs. New York Rangers

11 a.m., Madison Square Garden, SNET, SNET 650 AM

jbotchford@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/botchford

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This week on The Patcast, Jeff and Botch dive into the roll Canucks rookie Brock Boeser is on and how his scoring success is starting to attract attention around the league. Listen here:

 
 
 
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The Vancouver Canucks will be facing King Henrik (a.k.a. Lundqvist) and his New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple. Puck drop is 11 a.m. Vancouver time.
 

The Vancouver Canucks will be facing King Henrik (a.k.a. Lundqvist) and his New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple. Puck drop is 11 a.m. Vancouver time.

Photograph by: Abbie Parr, The Province

 
The Vancouver Canucks will be facing King Henrik (a.k.a. Lundqvist) and his New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple. Puck drop is 11 a.m. Vancouver time.
Head coach Alain Vigneault of the New York Rangers — remember him Canuck fans? — will be behind the bench Sunday at Madison Square Garden looking to beat his old team.
Anders Nilsson has played well for the Vancouver Canucks and will be called upon to come up big in the Big Apple on Sunday.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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