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Canucks Game Day: Mix and Match Line-up, Cue ‘The Baltics’

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Vancouver Canucks foe, Spencer Knight
Florida Panthers goalie Spencer Knight will face the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.

Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau says he has yet to have the opportunity to utilize the same Canucks roster in consecutive games. In other words, there’s always been at least one or two different guys coming in and out of the line-up every single night. He’s survived the inconsistency thus far with a record of 10-3-and-1, but there’s no doubt the Covid-induced interruptions are getting old.

Tonight would be an extreme example. To recap; no JT Miller, Conor Garland, and Bo Horvat up front, that’s three of the club’s top four scorers, and no Thatcher Demko or Jaroslav Halak in goal, all because of Covid protocols.

“We’re gonna play the way we play and guys are gonna just have to come up and fill the shoes of the people that have left,” Boudreau said. “I know if it was me and I was playing I’d classify this as my golden opportunity, my golden ticket to see how good I can be.”

Don’t etch these in stone, don’t even write them in ink. These appeared to be the Vancouver Canucks forward lines from the morning skate. Forget numbering them other than the top one:

Nils Höglander, Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser

Tanner Pearson, Jason Dickinson, Alex Chiasson

Matthew Highmore, Juho Lammikko, Tyler Motte

Justin Bailey, Sheldon Dries, Vasily Podkolzin

My advocacy for the exciting “Baltic Line” from the win in Nashville received some good news. That would be the two Swedes Pettersson and Höglander with the Russian Podkolzin.

“I anticipate them playing together at some point,” Boudreau said. “I know Petey loves playing with ‘Hoggie’, so it’s probably a combination that we’ll have together at some point. Everything is based on who we have on the line-up, right now it seems like everyday we’re missing somebody new, so if we ever get to what we think are the top twelve, then there’s a good chance they might play together.”

Canucks Defencemen:

Quinn Hughes, Tucker Poolman

Oliver Ekman Larsson, Tyler Myers

Brad Hunt, Luke Schenn

Kyle Burroughs suffers from an upper body injury. A game time decision that includes his participation would be a welcome sight.

The Panthers defeated the Oilers in Edmonton Thursday night 6-0 and are tied for the most points (59) in the NHL with their Sunshine State neighbours the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In terms of the netminders, as we joked last night, this could be the first ever NHL game featuring a Spencer vs. a Spencer. Knight for the Panthers and Martin for the Canucks. It’s an opportunity for one or both to shine.

It’s expected the game will be played in front of a 50% capacity crowd at Rogers Arena beginning at 7 pm pacific.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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