Canucks Next Game: Into the Wild on a back-to-back


Check out the latest Canucks’ news and insights about the next NHL game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Minnesota Wild.

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TV: Sportsnet. Radio: Sportsnet 650.


WHY WATCH

The Canucks aren’t technically out of the playoff chase but they pretty much are. They need to win more than two-thirds of their remaining games and for a team that’s been as inconsistent as they’ve been, that’s just not going to happen. That said, this road trip is the first chance to see Travis Dermott in action. The former Leafs defenseman should bring a little more jump to the Canucks’ underwhelming blue-line corps and management thinks he can be a second-pairing player, the kind of defenseman they really don’t have. The Canucks are playing their second game in two nights so how will they fare Thursday after a sure-to-be hard contest in Denver on Wednesday night?


LEADER POINTS

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CANUCKS (before Wednesday’s game in Colorado)

1. JT Miller GP 62 G 25 A 50 PTS 75 (+8)

2. Quinn Hughes GP 60 W 5 A 46 PTS 51 (+11)

3. Elias Pettersson GP 62 G 18 A 25 PTS 43 (-3)

WILD

1. Kirill Kaprizov GP 60 W 32 A 44 PTS 76 (+16)

2. Mats Zuccarello GP 53 W 19 A 43 PTS 62 (+18)

3. Kevin Fiala GP 61 W 20 A 35 PTS 55 (+11)


SPECIAL TEAMS

CANUCKS: PP 21.5% (14th), PK 71.4% (32nd)

WILD: PP 19.6% (20th), PK 76.3% (23rd)


THREE THINGS ABOUT THE WILD

• No flower power yet: The Wild traded for Marc-Andre Fleury on Monday but he’s not yet expected to make his Wild debut on Thursday. The team let him go back to Chicago to take care of a few personal matters Wednesday, so it’s expected that Cam Talbot will face the Canucks on Thursday. Talbot and Fleury are likely to be deployed as 1A and 1B goalies from here on.

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• Seeds fight: The Avs are the runaway leaders in the Central, but it’s a three-way fight for second in the division. The Wild currently sit third in the division, one point back from St. Louis. Nashville is tied with Minnesota on points but has played two more games. All have plenty to play for in the weeks ahead. The Wild had slumped a bit earlier this month but looked to have their high-octane offense back on track.

• Power-up: True playoff contenders make their home ice a fortress and the Wild have done that. They’re 20-7-1 at home. The Canucks are a mediocre 14-13-5 in comparison. The Canucks’ road record is reasonable at 16-13-3, just one win short of Minnesota’s road record in fact.

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