Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 3/10/13
Here we go again… It’s yet another chance for the Vancouver Canucks to right the ship heading into March’s crunch, as the beleaguered club has won just three of its last 11. Thankfully, tonight’s matchup features a Northwest division rival that the Canucks have dominated in the recent past. They’ll need another win tonight to keep the Wild from knocking on the door of a division title. Matchup: Vancouver Canucks (11 –6–6) v Minnesota Wild (12–9–2) Venue: Xcel Energy Centre Time: 5:00 pm PT TV/Radio: Sportsnet, Team 1040 Game Notes A win by the Wild tonight will pull them even with the Canucks in the division, though there’s a ton of hockey left to be played. The Wild have been playing better of late, winning six of their last nine, as the Canucks have been sputtering along dealing with losses and injuries. The pitiful Van City 3rd liners are having a brutal January. Zack Kassian has 0 goals since Jan. 30. Max Lapierre has one goal. David Booth has no goals in 8 games since returning from injury. WAKE UP BOYS! The two teams will meet again at Rogers Arena in eight days. What to watch: Minnesota The Wild are coming off Ryan Suter’s emotional return to Nashville, where they took two points in a shootout. Zach Parise had Minnesota’s only regulation marker, his team-leading ninth goal. The Wild will be happy to kick off a three game homestand tonight as they’re 8-2-1 at home this year. The Canucks will try to avoid losing four in a row vs the Wild today. Line-up Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle Jason Zucker-Matt Cullen-Devin Setoguchi Pierre-Marc Bouchard-Mikael Granlund-Dany Heatley Michael Rupp-Kyle Brodziak-Torrey Mitchell Ryan Suter-Jonas Brodin Justin Falk-Tom Gilbert Jared Spurgeon-Clayton Stoner Niklas Backstrom What to watch: Vancouver The Canucks will try to avoid losing four in a row for the first time in years, nevermind giving up the division lead. They’ll have to do it with a banged up line-up that will miss Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa and Tom Sestito. As we approach the trade deadline at the end of the month, it’s not hard to imagine the boost the Canucks could use from adding a player or two. It’s definitely the time of the year for armchair GM’ing. Most of the Canucks’ woes could be solved by overhauling the powerplay that has failed them time and time again this year. Seems like now would be a good time to try Jason Garrison again on the first unit. It’s not like they have anything to lose. Well, except hockey games. Line-up Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Alex Burrows Chris Higgins-Mason Raymond-Jannik Hansen David Booth-Maxim Lapierre-Zack Kassian Tom Sestito-Jordan Schroeder-Dale Weise Alex Edler-Chris Tanev Dan Hamhuis-Jason Garrison Cam Barker-Andrew Alberts or (Keith Ballard) Cory Schneider Injuries Kevin Bieksa will probably be a scratch we’ve now heard Keith Ballard will play, also out Sestito who caught a rut in practice. For the Wild, Darcy Kreumper is out with a lower body injury while Josh Harding didn’t dress against Nashville due to complications with his MS medication. Prediction We sprang forward today. Spring is here. Keith Ballard will be back in the lineup. The Canucks right the “deflating” ship. A head scratching 2-1 win. Book it. Gameday Tweets #canucks Keith Ballard is probable for tonight versus #wild. Cam Barker will sit if Ballard plays. Schneider starts. — Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) March 10, 2013 Please don’t forget to set your clocks forward to 8 past Luongo tonight….. #k #thanks —Strombone (@strombone1) March 10, 2013 The #canucks dragged to court by Italian soccer club sports psychologist who says team reneged on deal. tinyurl.com/bg5de75 — Brad Ziemer (@BradZiemer) March 9, 2013 Cory Schneider will get the start tomorrow for the #Canucks against the #Wild — Sportsnet Pacific (@SNETPacific) March 9, 2013 Vancouver, this is your wakeup call: Lifeless Canucks limp to OT loss against lowly Columbus theprovince.com/sports/hockey/… — Jason Botchford (@botchford) March 8, 2013 Media Release: #Canucks assign Jensen to the Wolves. v.canucks.com/YJ7o1s — Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) March 8, 2013 New Post Up! Hey fans…when is it the right time for Van City to make a trade? – #NHL #Vancouver #Canucks nwsb.co/4i–6 — Northwest SportsBeat (@NWSportsBeat) March 8, 2013 #PanicTime ? The #Canucks have one win in their last six and haven’t scored a power-play goal in seven. — Q Smith (@NWSBQ) March 8, 2013 Are you ready for the A? v.canucks.com/WB2E0x #millionairespuzzle — Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) March 9, 2013 From the plane to the rink. Practice time. #Canucks twitter.com/VanCanucks/sta… — Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) March 9, 2013 #canucks Sestito caught a rut during the skate and tweaked his hip flexor so he’s day to day. Bieksa will skate on his own tomorrow. — Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) March 8, 2013 CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS CLUBHOUSE TODAY ON NWSB!
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