Preview: Devils & Canucks Collide

Many expected both the New Jersey Devils and the Vancouver Canucks to be duking it out for lottery position this season. While that isn’t the case, both teams sit outside of the playoff picture at the moment.

The Canucks are just two points better than the Devils in the NHL standings, but they are only three points out of a Wild Card spot in a weaker Western Conference. New Jersey is seven points back of a playoff spot, and a 4-4-2 record in their last 10 games means that they need to start scoring more if they want to make a playoff push. They have the worst goals for per game in the league.

This matchup represents another opportunity to compare Bo Horvat and Cory Schnieder. This is the sixth head-to-head matchup the two have had since the trade, in what’s been a very different season for both players.

Horvat has steadily become the offensive leader for the Canucks, leading the team in both goals and points. Schnieder, on the other hand, is surprisingly struggling this season. His .909 save percentage would hold up to be the worst of his career since he cracked the NHL as Luongo’s backup in 2010-11.

New Jersey Devils at Vancouver Canucks

Sunday, Jan. 15, Rogers Arena, 4:00 p.m. PST

Broadcast Channels: SNP, MSG+

2016-17 Season Series: Dec. 6Vancouver Canucks 2 – New Jersey Devils 3

New Jersey Devils: 17-18-9, 43 Points

Road Record: 7-12-6

Hot Players: Kyle Palmieri

Key Injuries: Sergey Kalinin, Andy Greene, John Moore

Projected Lines


Taylor Hall – Adam Henrique – Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

Mike Cammalleri – Travis Zajac – Kyle Palmieri

Pavel Zacha – Jacob Josefson – Beau Bennett

Miles Wood – Blake Coleman – Devante Smith-Pelly


Jon Merrill – Ben Lovejoy

Kyle Quincey – Damon Severson

Karl Stollery – Steven Santini

Starting Goaltender

Cory Schnieder


Vancouver Canucks: 20-19-5, 45 Points

Home Record: 15-6-2

Hot Players: Bo Horvat, Markus Granlund

Key Injuries: Erik Gudbranson, Jannik Hansen, Philip Larsen, Ben Hutton, Derek Dorsett

Projected Lines

Projected Lines


Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Loui Eriksson

Markus Granlund – Brandon Sutter – Jayson Megna

Sven Baertschi – Bo Horvat – Alex Burrows

Brendan Gaunce – Michael Chaput – Jack Skille


Alex Edler – Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa – Chris Tanev

Nikita Tryamkin – Alex Biega

Starting Goaltender

Ryan Miller

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Canucks will be thrilled to get back home, after enduring a three-game road trip where they went winless and saw their six-game win streak come to an end. Although they played well enough to win any of those three games, they only came away with two overtime losses.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Devils aren’t much better on the road than the Canucks are, and only managed to record their seventh road win of the season on Friday against Calgary. It snapped a four-game losing streak for the franchise, who’s playoff hopes have all but dissipated in the ultra-tough Metropolitan Division.

Cory Schneider
Cory Schneider as a member of the Vancouver Canucks during the 2011-12 season. (Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE)

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] It’s strange to see Schneider struggle so much this season, even if New Jersey’s defence is mediocre. Schneider usually ranks around the top five in the league for save percentage but his .909 this season has him at 29th overall. He has played well since being pulled in Toronto, but he’s still on a personal four-game losing streak.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] Despite his struggles, Schneider and the Devils have won four straight games against the Canucks. His six career games against his former team, Schneider has three wins, one regulation loss, and a .925 save percentage.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap] It will sound redundant, but the Canucks need to shoot the puck early and often tonight. They need to test this beat-up Devils defence, who is playing their third game in four nights. The Canucks are playing on two days rest and should attack early on in this contest. The Canucks are currently the worst first-period team in the league, something that needs to change.