Canucks vs Islanders Game Day Report: The Isle of Brooklyn awaits

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Canucks Game Day Islanders

The Canucks visit the Barclays Center for an afternoon tilt today against the New York Islanders.

The Canucks are coming off a horrid performance in Carolina. The Canucks beat the Hurricanes 3-2 in OT despite being outplayed and outworked. They had no business being in the game, let alone winning it. Stellar performances from Jacob Markstrom and Bo Horvat saved the day.

Game Time: 1:00 pm

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

The Islanders in Brooklyn? Something just doesn’t seem right about that. Odd as it may sound, Nassau Coliseum was a dump, but it also was an amazing place to watch a hockey game. The crowd in Brooklyn has a lot to live up to.

The New York Islanders currently sit 3rd in the Metropolitan Division and are led offensively by soon-to-be UFA Kyle Okposo with 33 points (11 goals and 22 assists). The Islanders are an intriguing team in that they are a team with enough talent to contend in the East, but much of the discussion this season about them has centred around potential trades. Okposo has been rumoured to be a player on the move and Travis Hamonic made headlines when it was revealed that he had requested a trade to Western Canada.

Strange times in Brooklyn.

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Storylines

1.  BoHo el fuego

Is 2016 the year of Bo? OK, it’s early, but the young Canucks centre is on fire in the first month of the new year.

Horvat’s early season scoring woes seem to have disappeared the moment the clock struck midnight on December 31st. Horvat has scored 6 times in 7 games in January. Secondary scoring has been a major issue for the Canucks and production from Horvat could not have come at a better time.

 

2.  Life on the road

Canucks TV colour commentator, John “Cheech” Garrett, is becoming a bit of a legend for his choices in cuisine. Put it this way, the man has cast iron arteries! How can you not be impressed with a man that once went an entire Canucks road trip without using cutlery?

I know that Cheech reads these Game Day Reports religiously, or at least he should be. Trust me John, check out 2nd Avenue Deli in NYC. Not only is it the best deli in New York, but it also isn’t on 2nd Avenue.

These long road trips have their perks.

 

3. Canucks on the mend

The Canucks expect Luca Sbisa and Jannik Hansen back in the lineup today against the Islanders. This leaves Brandon Sutter and Dan Hamhuis as the only impact regulars still working to get back to health.

Lack of depth becomes abundantly clear when injuries occur. While the likelihood of the Canucks making the playoffs is low with a complete compliment of players, it is close to zero if they continue to have injuries to key players down the stretch.

 

Lineup

Jannik Hansen and Luca Sbisa should return to the Canucks lineup tonight. There is no confirmation yet on the healthy scratches or starting goalie, but the lineup will likely look as follows:

D. Sedin H. Sedin Hansen
Baertschi Horvat Vrbata
Burrows McCann Etem
Dorsett Vey Prust
Edler Tanev
Hutton Biega
Bartkowski Sbisa
Miller

**UPDATE** Adam Cracknell and Jake Virtanen named healthy scratches for today’s game.

 

Prediction

The Canucks were bailed out in Carolina by an outstanding Jacob Markstrom effort while the Islanders are coming off of a big win over the cross-town rival New York Rangers. Barclays Center will prove to be an unwelcome venue and the Islanders will take this one 4-2. The Canucks will quickly adjourn to the 2nd Avenue Deli and drown their sorrows over a “Triple Bypass Sandwich.”

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Ian Lusher Canucks Contributor
@ianlusher

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