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Canucks Report: The end is near

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

Butler to backup Canucks

Lesson of the day: expect the unexpected.

There’s a reason Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider didn’t take to the ice for morning skate Wednesday, he’s under the weather. Schneider will not dress for tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames.

Welcome to the Canucks, Dustin Butler.

Dustin Butler? Huh?

The 25-year-old goaltender, currently playing for the University of Calgary, received an emergency phone call earlier today informing him he’ll be dressing as backup to Roberto Luongo tonight.

It’s almost impossible to not have butterflies for the kid, just imagine what he’s going through. He didn’t look it arriving to the rink moments ago, however.

The Alberta native, who cut his teeth with the Portland Winter Hawks, Kamloops Blazers and Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL, boasts an impressive resume that includes back-to-back Canada West championship appearances in 2011 and 2012 for U of C. He was named to the first team All-Canadian goaltender in 2011.

Another interesting tidbit on Butler: he played with Jannik Hansen in Portland in 2005.

Butler Update

Here's exclusive video of Butler with the Canucks pre-game and during warm-up.

The end is near.

Only nine games remain in the regular season and with the Vancouver Canucks four points up on the Minnesota Wild for the Northwest Division lead, wins are as crucial as ever.

The Canucks aim for their fourth consecutive victory tonight against the Calgary Flames, the team they thumped 5-2 just a few nights ago in Vancouver.

The score wasn’t indicative of effort that night as the Flames skated circles around the Canucks for parts of the game. The road warriors, who kick off a five-game, 10-day road trip tonight, know they need a better effort to start this trek off on the right foot.

Cory Schneider was not on the ice Wednesday during Vancouver’s optional skate, only Roberto Luongo, Cam Barker, Tom Sestito, Andrew Alberts and Steve Pinizzotto took part.

Coach Alain Vigneault did not attend, but based on his Tuesday update that Chris Higgins and Chris Tanev are out of the line-up indefinitely, Pinizzotto or Sestito will be in the line-up tonight, as will Barker or Alberts.

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