Vancouver Canucks vs. Winnipeg Jets Preview: Playing the kids

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      Yes, it’s true, Brock Boeser will be in the lineup today after hitting up the press box for the Vancouver Canucks’ first two games.

      It was revealed today that Alexander Burmistrov, he of the two solid games so far this season, will be taking Boeser’s place up high. That means that Burmistrov, who was drafted eighth overall by the Winnipeg organization (when the team was toiling in Atlanta), won’t get to have the typical “revenge game” against the team that ended up dropping him to waivers that all players get amped up for.

      It also means that all the Canuck fans who’ve been calling for Boeser will get to see number eight in action once again.

      Here are some things to watch for in tonight’s tilt.

      Who does Boeser line up with?

      Early indications are that Boeser will return to the line that he had so much success with at the end of last season, playing with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi. Loui Eriksson hadn’t looked especially incredible with the two shifty forwards, so it looks like alliteration nerds will get their fix with the Boe-Bo-Bae line.

      No Byfuglien

      The Jets will take the ice without one of their best (and most entertaining) players in Dustin Byfuglien, who is nursing a reported soft tissue injury. That didn’t stop Big Buff from fishing for sturgeon yesterday.

      Keep fishing, Buff, the Canucks will welcome the absence of one of the Western Conference’s most intimidating defencemen.Keep fishing, Buff, the Canucks will welcome the absence of one of the Western Conference’s most intimidating defencemen.

      How will the Canucks respond?

      After coach Travis Green called the team “soft” following the shootout loss to Ottawa on Tuesday, it’s a good bet that the Canucks will come out hitting.

      Another big game for Jake Virtanen

      Every game is huge for the youngster, but after Green chose to sit Burmistrov in favour of Virtanen (who looked fantastic against both Edmonton and Ottawa but played the least amount of minutes of any Canuck in both games), pressure will be on. As Virtanen’s minutes went up by four minutes in the Ottawa game, expect him to gobble up even more playing time if he keeps looking as fast and strong as he has.

      Maybe he can help bring up Eriksson as well, as the Swede figures to get in on a line with Virtanen and either Sam Gagner or Markus Granlund.

      Jets' Net

      The Jets brought in Steve Mason to shore up a goaltending problem that has persisted since the team was in Atlanta, but he looked dreadful in the first two games.

      Connor Hellebuyck was long thought to be the team’s can’t-miss prospect between the pipes, but he had a rough season last year. He won his only start this year against Edmonton, in a stellar performance that saw him pelted with rubber by the Oilers’ stars. He will get the start against Vancouver in a critical performance against Jacob Markstrom, who has looked solid so far.

      Prediction:

      It's a defensive battle at first but it breaks open due to the forwards on both sides causing havoc. However, the loss of Buff is too much for the Jets to handle on the backend, especially with the Boe-Bo-Bae bundle buzzing (I got you, alliteration nerds).

      Canucks 4-2

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