Canucks At Kings Game Preview: How The Orca Got His Groove Back

CANUCKS
KINGS

AT

Time Sat. 1:00 PM PST
TV Sportsnet Pac
Season Series 2-0 Kings
Last Meeting
4-1 Kings (Oct.15/10)
The Enemy Jewels From The Crown, Battle Of California Scoring Leaders D. Sedin: 32-47-79 Kopitar: 20-43-63
Canucks
Category   Kings
40-16-9 Season Record 36-24-4
1st
Conference Position 5th
Lost 1
Streak Won 1
17-9-4
< Road Record / Home Record >
20-10-1
5-5-0
Last 10 7-2-1
+56
Goals For / Against +/- +23
3.18 (3)
Goals Per Game 2.69 (16)
2.29 (3)
Goals Against Per Game 2.41 (4)
1.26 (3)
5 On 5 GF/GA 1.11 (6)
24.3 (2)
Power Play %
17.5 (15)
86.0 (2)
Penalty Kill %
84.0 (6)
32.0 (8)
Shots Per Game 29.2 (23)
30.1 (14)
 Shots Against Per Game 27.5 (2) 
81.0 (3)
Winning % When Scoring First 73.7 (11)
90.0 (3)
Winning % When Leading After 1 80.0 (11) 
0 (30)
Winning % When Trailing After 1 23.1 (15)
90.6 (8)
Winning % When Leading After 2 100 (1) 
55.3 (1)
Faceoffs % 50.8 (10)
11.2 (12)
PIM's Per Game Average
12.0 (15) 
NHL.com

After the Preds beat the Canucks somebody mentioned something to Shane O'Brien about the Canucks being the better team. He responded: "They probably say that every time they lose. That's the way they are. They're a confident, cocky bunch. They're the best team in the West and they're going to have a mark on them the rest of the way and into the playoffs. They can think what they want. We got the two [points] tonight and we'll be seeing them down the road."  (More on that at The Province). Thanks SOB for reminding me why I am so glad you are no longer a Canuck. However, he makes a few good points. Maybe there are a few cocky players on the Canucks but we are not led to believe that through what they say to the media. "Composed" and even "confident" describe them better. It's hard not to be confident when you are sitting on top of the NHL standings. When SOB mentioned that the Canucks "were going to have a mark on them the rest of the way" I think he is correct. Teams get up to beat the big dogs, and the Canucks, despite their win 1 / lose 1 record for almost a month are still the big dogs.

Unfortunately, these big dogs now look to be struggling to find the back of the net. The top 3 lines have taken turns taking the brunt of the scoring load while the goaltending has been stellar. But nobody bailed out Roberto Luongo Thursday night. There were times that Pekka Rinne made stellar and even flukey saves but the bottom line is that there was not enough push from enough of the forwards to get the job done. The top line, which will now see even more checking on the road, is being too fancy and not dirty enough. There is no click on line 2 or line 3. The best forwards I saw on Thursday were Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen. But there was no gel. No finish. Not enough forechecking. Not enough sandpaper.

Are the Canucks coasting or struggling? I think I'm seeing both. This is the danger of being the top team in the standings in the West and in your own division by a somewhat / huge comfortable margin. Panic? Hell no! These guys will get it going again. Does a 5-game road trip help? MAYBE. But the Canucks have kicked ass at home all season, and so the 500 record at the Rog lately isn't all that impressive. It all starts in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon. The Kings, who you know hate our guts for eliminating them from the first round last season, are rolling again and will play us with a vengeance. Look at their stats above...another defensive team! They do not allow many goals against per game, shots against per game or power play goals against per game. Hell, their last game was a 1-0 win over the Coyotes. The have won 3 of their last 4 at home, with a 7-4 loss to the Wings being the anomaly. Let's see another anomaly shall we?

After a 5-8 record in January and a loss of a playoff spot, the Kings went 8-2-3 in February to climb back in. They are currently in 5th spot in the West but 2 points away from 10th spot. It changes every day. They are in a dog fight. So here we go again: Canucks face another desperate team. Let's see if they can find their scoring ways again starting in L.A.

-BTW:

-The Sedins have scored a combined 1 goal and 3 assists in 2 losses against LA this season.

-Dustin Brown has scored 2 goals and 1 assist against the Canucks this season.

-Dustin Penner has scored 1 goal and 2 assists against the Canucks. He hates us. Filthy Hobbitses!

-Justin Williams has scored 2 goals against us this season.

LINKS

-Oh bullshit, Hank!

-Well there we go: "Canucks Confident Bunch Heading Into 5-Game Road Trip."

-Canucks' power play is drying up.

-You may not know that hits (of which he had 5, I believe) and take-aways (I counted several, at least 3, one leading to a scoring chance) are critical aspects of any game. (Quisp from Jewels From The Crown defending Dustin Penner's play in his first game as a King.)

-Huge perma-smiles on our faces and injuries to our livers...

Nucks Nation Invasion! Great stuff.

PROJECTED STARTING GOALTENDERS


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Roberto Luongo 46 2746 28 11 104 2.27 1370 1266 .924 3


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Jonathan Bernier 20 1103 8 8 47 2.56 513 466 .908 2


WHO'S HOT / COLD


CANUCKS

HOT

-Roberto Luongo. See here. Love the LUUUUUUU this season.

COLD

-The Sedins have no points in their last 3 games. That's a tad unusual for them.

-Alexandre Burrows: no points in his last 5 games, 2 assists in his last 8.

KINGS

HOT

-Drew Doughty: 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 games.

-Anze f*cking Kopitar: 4 goals and 9 assists in his last 10.

-Brad Richardson: 1 goal and 2 assists in his last 3 games. He's pulling a Malhotra.

-Wayne Simmonds: 3 goals and 1 assist in his last 4 games.

-Jarret Stoll: 2 goals and 1 assist in his last 3.

COLD

-Willie Mitchell does not score many points. He has 1 goal and 0 assists in his last 29 games. Oh well. Miss you, Willie!

-Alexei Ponikarovski: 1 assist in his last 13 games. I hated you in Toronto and I hate you in LA.

-Rob Scuderi: 1 assist in his last 11 games.

NOTABLE INJURIES

CANUCKS

-D Alexander Edler: back

-D Kevin Bieksa: broken foot. He's close to returning

-D Andrew Alberts: broken wrist

-D Lee Sweatt: broken foot

-F Chris Higgins: broken thumb, est. 2-3 weeks. Also close to returning. And I can't wait to see what brings to the table.

KINGS

-W Scott Parse: hip surgery

VIDEO

No no no. The last meeting:

Yes yes yes. Canucks eliminate Kings, 2010 Playoffs


Kings_history_medium

I don't give 2 shits about your history!

Go Canucks Go!

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