Preview: St. Louis Blues vs. Vancouver Canucks

Blues forward Alex Steen (20) outskates Vancouver forward Derrick Pouliot (5). (Photo courtesy: Jeff Curry, USA Today Sports)

ST. LOUIS, MO – The St. Louis Blues (48-28-9) wrap up the regular season with a final 3 pm home game matchup against the Vancouver Canucks (35-36-10). The Blues, already clinching a playoff spot, could look to take the first place in the Central Division with a win today. The Blues sit only one point behind the Nashville Predators and even with the Winnipeg Jets with a chance to clinch the division and/or home ice advantage in round one.

The Vancouver Canucks franchise has been on a slow decline, ever since losing to the Boston Bruins in 2010-11 in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. With superstar twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin retiring last year, the Canucks will have to rely on their young players like Brock Boeser to rebuild the franchise back to playoff potential.

The Canucks and Blues meet for the third and final time this season. Vancouver blew out St. Louis both meetings this year, winning 6-1 and 5-1 back in December.

Playoff Frenzy (Continues)

Even with the Blues already clinching a playoff spot, they look to take first place in the Central Division after being last in the league back in January. If the Blues won this game and the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets both lose their last game, the Blues could take first place in the Central Division. Should the Jets lose in regulation, the Blues would at least finish in second and take home ice over their opponent.

The Columbus Blue Jackets won in a 3-2 shootout last night, securing their playoff spot and the final spot in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Now, the final game will determine the remainder of the first-round matchups.

A New Hope

The Canucks are in one of their longest playoff droughts in franchise history, missing the playoffs for four straight seasons. Despite the drought, the Canucks have been slowly rebuilding a young roster after the departure of franchise twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin. The Canucks finished 9th-last this season, which gives them a 5% chance of getting the first overall pick in the 2019 draft lottery.

In addition, the Canucks have multiple first-round picks racking the scoring sheet and bringing the team back. Last year’s 5th overall pick Elias Petterson has become a top candidate for the Calder Trophy, scoring 27 goals and 65 points in his first season. Bo Horvat is on the verge of 100 goals in just his fifth season, and Brock Boeser has matched his career-high 55 points from last season in his third year. With a 60% chance of getting a top ten pick or better and all eyes on prospects like Jack Hughes, the Canucks will hope the youth can rebuild their franchise.

Gametime

The Blues and Canucks face off today at 4 pm ET and Enterprise center for the final regular season match. To watch the season wrap-up, head to:

STL – FSMW, KMOX 1120, NHL.tv

VAN – SNPacific, Sportsnet 650, NHL.tv

PROJECTED LINEUPS

ST. LOUIS

FORWARDS:

10 B. Schenn – 90 O’Reilly – 91 Tarasenko

17 Schwartz – 70 Sundqvist – 57 Perron

7 Maroon – 21 Bozak – 18 Thomas

20 Steen – 49 Barbashev – 20 Thorburn

DEFENSE:

27 Pietrangelo – 29 Dunn

4 Gunnarsson – 19 Bouwmeester

6 Edmundson – 41 Bortuzzo

IN GOAL:

50 Binnington

VANCOUVER

FORWARDS:

21 Eriksson – 53 Horvat – 70 Pearson

15 Spooner – 40 Pettersson – 6 Boeser

17 Leivo – 88 Gaudette – 18 Virtanen

60 Granlund – 83 Beagle – 59 Schaller

DEFENSE:

51 Stecher – 23 Edler

2 L. Schenn – 43 Hughes

3 Rafferty – 27 Hutton

IN GOAL:

25 Markstrom

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Phillip Miller

Phillip Miller became a Blues fan in high school after discovering the game of hockey while living in southern Illinois. He has been writing for Blues Rants since early 2019 and still remains a student and lover of the game. Phillip currently resides in Fargo, North Dakota.

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