Canucks vs Wild Game Day Report: The Clendening Era Begins

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Canucks Game Day Wild

The Canucks have a Sunday afternoon pre-Super Bowl delight when they take on the Minnesota Wild at Rogers Arena.

The Wild (22-20-6) sit last in the very competitive Central Division while the Canucks look to bank a few more points in order to maintain their playoff position.

Matchup

Game Time: 12:00 pm

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

The Canucks are coming off of a much needed home ice win against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres could not have come to town at a better time with the Canucks struggling to score both at even strength and on the power play. The positive vibes felt from the Sabres game will only be useful if the Canucks can build on them. The Wild represent another beatable foe for the Canucks who simply cannot lose against teams that are out of the playoff race.

Storylines

1. Adam Clendening

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Image:  espn.com

Let the Adam Clendening Era begin!

Jim Benning traded 2014 5th round pick Gustav Forsling for the 22 year old Clendening on Thursday night. At first blush, Canucks Nation seemed displeased by the trade, but quickly this changed when looking at the facts.

Clendening, who played for Boston University prior to moving on to the Rockford IceHogs, is NHL ready while Forsling is years away. Usually a trade like this involves losing some potential in exchange for a more NHL ready prospect. With Chicago’s depth and pending waiver restrictions for Clendening next season, this trade appears to be the exception and was really a no-brainer deal for Jim Benning to make.

2. Bonino On 1st Unit Power Play

Willie Desjardins utilized Nick Bonino on the 1st power play unit on Friday night against the Sabres. While all results have to be taken in context of the opposition, Bonino’s power play goal against the Sabres was a good example of why he may be what the power play has been missing. Bonino took a deflected Henrik Sedin pass (which was actually meant for Radim Vrbata) and promptly batted it out of the air and into the back of the net. Bonino has a great shot and soft hands. He gives the Sedins another option from Radim Vrbata and he can be a net front presence as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY-tZIIWLUY

3. Ronalds Kenins

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Image: canucks.nhl.com

Ronalds Kenins made his NHL debut on Friday night against the Sabres and did not look at all out of place. Kenins played a regular shift with Bo Horvat and Zack Kassian. He is an interesting and surprising player, especially when you see him live. He appears shorter than his 6′ frame due to his stocky build and showed very strong board play. Kenins also has a bit of a sneaky wrist shot reminiscent of that of Bonino. Kenins could prove to be a very useful player for the Canucks going forward.

Lineup

Clendening makes his Canucks debut and it appears that Yannick Weber and Ryan Stanton will be the healthy scratches on defence. Derek Dorsett is a game time decision.

D. Sedin H. Sedin Vrbata
Higgins Vey Burrows
Matthias Bonino Hansen
Kenins Horvat Kassian
Hamhuis Tanev
Edler Corrado
Clendening Sbisa
Miller

With the Clendening trade, the Canucks have a lot of extra bodies they plan to play at the NHL level. Trade coming?

Prediction

The Canucks need to get some momentum going on home ice and the Wild simply have too many holes on defence and in goal. The Canucks take this one 4-1 over the Wild, Canucks fans rush home in time for the Super Bowl, and the Seatlle Seahawks beat the New England Patriots 28-17.

Super Bowl XLIX Media Day Fueled by Gatorade

 

Image: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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Ian Lusher Canucks Contributor
@ianlusher

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