It JUST occurred to me now that I should have been Chris Pronger with a giant stompy skate for Halloween. I'm slow.
Before we attack the Ducks, let's do a small one word recap on the Kings game: damn! Where the hell did that come from? I missed the first goal but took the rest of the game in and this was a team possessed. Raymond's goal? Holy smack-a-midget Batman was that a beautiful goal. Seriously, check it out if you missed it. The Sedins clicked, the power play came alive, Luongo was God and even Pyatt showed up. It was, in fact, everything I had suggested had to happen for the Boston game. So they're a few days late? No worries.
With the offense slowly finding itself, Luongo doing his thing and the defense holding strong (one goal in two games this week) it's perfect that this team has no rest and has to out and do it again against the Ducks. The motherfucking Ducks. Ahhh, there's that sweet zone of hate I haven't had since the Calgary opener.
The teams are pretty evenly matched if you stare at the numbers: Ducks are scoring 3.00 goals a game and giving up 3.18; Canucks are scoring 3.11 a game and giving up 3.22. The power play looks similar (Ducks: 18.2%, Canucks: 16.7%) and, as you probably guessed, so is the penalty kill (Ducks: 81.8%, Canucks: 78.6%). The gritty manchild Kesler leads the Canucks in points (9) while a similarly-agitating Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks (11).
Some will make a big deal out of this game being the first for Pronger and Kesler to meet again but, honestly, who cares. We all know what Pronger is and what he does. This time around, however, if Pronger does anything (Raymond, keep your head up please) he'll have far more voices to answer to. This version of the Canucks doesn't take the high elbows or the errant foot stomp too lightly like they may have last year.
Which brings us to old pal Brendan. I suppose as a Canuck fan I'm supposed to say something chipper here about what a great guy he is, his ironman streak blah blah blah. Whatever, he left. Here's what I do know: despite being ninth in TOI, he has a single point and a team worst -5. Bertuzzi is more of a force these days (and a detriment); I don't know if that has something to do with Morrison's role on the PK or his linemates.
It also brings us back to old GM Burke's house (at least for now) and he's currently letting another old GM Dave Nonis bunk in the zamboni shed. In fact, including these two and Carlyle, Morrison, McIver, May (oops, just kidding) and Hedican (and on our end Krog and O'Brien) it's a cute reunion of sorts.
Bottom line: the Canucks needed to win last night and did. I'd venture that they really need to win tonight too; to beat a top level team on little rest and continue their PP success and stingy play on the back end will be huge before they return for a homestand that includes the Wings and Wild. The Kings didn't play the Sedins, Raymond or Wellwood too physically, but the Ducks will change that. Expect some "spirit" out there between both squads, but if the Canucks fall back into bad first periods and stupid penalties, it'll get gross right quick.
Without question, this is the sort of game they need to win if they want to hang with the big boys. Get it done. Go 'nucks.