Vancouver: Playoff Picture off Big Win – Campus Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks play again tonight, this time against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul and it looks like they won’t be facing new Wild netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.
Cam Talbot, coming off a shut-out win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night, will get the start for Minnesota. It appears Fleury will settle in as the back-up Thursday night before making his Wild debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
Thatcher Demko will be the starter at the other end for Vancouver following the 3-1 victory for the Canucks and back-up goalie Jaroslav Halak Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche.
How impressive was the Vancouver Canucks victory in Denver? With the loss the Avalanche’s home record ‘fell’ to 25-4-and-3.
Big Day in Big D
Regardless as to whether or not the Vancouver Canucks can keep the magic going in the 2nd half of this back-to-back, the most meaningful date on this four-game road trip is Saturday night, March 26th in Dallas. The Stars are the main team in the pack that the Canucks are chasing and a victory head-to-head becomes imperative.
Dallas sits in the 2nd wild card playoff position with 73 points, three ahead of the Canucks, but more importantly owns three games-in-hand on Vancouver. It will stay that way after tonight. While the Canucks are playing the Wild, the Stars will be taking on the Hurricanes in Carolina.
The Edmonton Oilers are next on the ladder of pursuit, they’re the third place team in the Pacific Division with 75 points and one game in-hand on the Canucks. The Oilers host the San Jose Sharks tonight.
The Canucks brass will be watching two of the NCAA college hockey playoff regionals with particular interest this weekend. Their 5th-round pick in 2020, University of Michigan defenceman Jacob Truscott will be playing for the Wolverines against American International on Friday night. Not familiar with the latter, but I do know Michigan is one of the four top-seeded teams in the 16-team tournament.
One of the other top seeds is Western Michigan. The Broncos will be playing Northeastern University (Boston) in another regional. The Huskies feature left winger Aidan McDonough, the Canucks 7th-round selection in 2019, who tallied 38 points in 37 games this regular season.
The winners of the four regionals will meet in the NCAA Frozen Four in Boston beginning Thursday, April 7th.
Come Home Dado
Here’s a weird one worth noting: Evgenii Dadonov’s trade to the Anaheim Ducks by the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday was invalidated by the NHL on Wednesday. The 33-year-old Russian winger had a limited no-trade clause in his contract that was ignored.
On twitter, the team said, “The Vegas Golden Knights recognize the league’s decision and welcome Evgenii back to our club.”
Dadonov, with a year-left on a contract that carries a $5-million annual cap hit, has 27 points for the Golden Knights this season.
Enjoy the Hockey Action !!