Canucks Garland, Rangers Panarin

Canucks Game Day 40: Clash Of Two Titans, Big D-Corps

Canucks Game Facts

This Afternoon: Vancouver Canucks at New York Rangers

Where: Madison Square Garden

When: 4 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Sportsnet / AM-650

Key Factors:

Starting goalkeepers: Thatcher Demko for Vancouver, Igor Shesterkin for New York.

It’s a clash of 2023-’24 titans as the 53-point Canucks visit the 54-point Rangers. New York has played one less game than Vancouver. The Broadway Blueshirts presently tout the NHL’s top power play.

Concerning might be Vancouver’s propensity to give up goals in sloppy contests the last three games, even while winning two of them. They’re cleanest game of the three for sixty minutes was the 2-1 loss in St. Louis on Thursday.

Behemoth blueliner Nikita Zadorov is expected back in the mix after a single game off, which means the Canucks will offer up their biggest D-corps possible with he and Carson Soucy in the line-up. Mobility will be put to the test on the back-end against the Rangers, especially with Soucy paired with Tyler Myers.

New York is missing three forwards for various extended periods. Depth center Tyler Pitlick went out recently long term, while Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil remain on injured reserve.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

J.T. MIller remains 7th in league scoring, even after adding three points on Saturday night against the Devils. He and Elias Pettersson both had two goals and an assist in the game.

Conor Garland has scored big goals in two straight games and has four points over his last five. He and his 3rd-line mates continue to impress; Teddy Blueger and Dakota Joshua.

Russian winger Andrei Kuzmenko continues to bounce around the pecking order. He created chances in New Jersey, but didn’t pick up a point after being a healthy scratch against the Blues. He’ll likely skate on a European line with Ilya Mikheyev and Pius Suter.

New Yorkers Artemi Panarin and Vince Trocheck both had a goal and an assist in the shoot-out loss to the Canadiens on Saturday night. They assisted on each other’s goals.

“The Bread Man”, a nickname from his Chicago days, is red hot. Panarin has nine points over his last five games and 12 over his last seven. He leads the Blueshirts with 55 points, good for a tie for 3rd most in the NHL.

Former Norris Trophy winning defenceman Adam Fox has suffered through injuries, is back, and has 25 points in 28 games.

Special Teams

The Canucks power play went 0-for-1 for the second consecutive game, while also repeating a two-for-two effort on the penalty kill.

On the season Vancouver has produced a 23.9% success rate on the man advantage while the penalty kill succeeds 78.5% of the time.

The Rangers went 0-for-3 on the PP in Montreal on Saturday while going 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. They’re excellent in the special teams department with the top power play percentage in the NHL (29.7%) and an impressive penalty kill effectiveness (84.4%) on the season.

Coming In:

Canucks: 25-11-and-3, 1st place in the Pacific Division, coming off a 6-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.

Rangers: 26-10-and-2, good for 1st place in the Metro Division after a 4-3 shoot-out loss against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Recent Canucks:

— Simmer’s Sunday 9: Canucks, Kraken, Includes Bruce Boudreau Podcast Link

— Canucks Prospect Named World Juniors MVP

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.
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