GAME TIME: 7:00 PST
THE OPPOSITION: Battle Of California
UPDATE (5:00 PM): Wellwood on being a scratch:
"There are some workhorses in here that somehow are battling every shift, every day, and you notice it in their personalities off the ice, that's for sure," Wellwood said. "That doesn't seem to be my strength.
"That's the challenge for me … I am laid back and when I get frustrated I can pull back instead of, you know, pushing forward.
"Obviously that can get me into trouble sometimes." -The Province.
Ugh. Woody can't compete at a consistent level and needs tough love to force him to do so. Hate to say it, but this will never change, unless, you know, he gets a lobotomy.
UPDATE (1:46 PM): Bieksa on the Kings: "We're looking to keep the score down, we're not looking to run and gun with them and if we key on their top guys we should be successful." - Vancouver Sun
UPDATE (12:47 PM): Tweeted by CTV Sports: Kyle Wellwood says he is playing tonight. Alain Vigneault says Woody is a game-time decision. No love. Nope. No love.
UPDATE (11:02 AM): The Canucks have recalled Aaron Rome today. He finished a 7-games conditioning stint and scored 6 goals and 7 points for the Moose. I like this guy. He should slot in over Mathieu Schneider, IMO.
UPDATE (10:53 AM): Dan's the man! Daniel Sedin has been named the NHL's 2nd star of the week. Kings' Jon Quick was the first star.
Funny piece in the Sun today about how Alain Vigneault can finally tell the Sedin twins apart. When asked how he could he said:
"I wouldn't know." All I know is I can finally tell them apart and I can't figure out how come it took me four years. For me, right now, they don't even look alike."
If somebody would have told me back in late September that the Los Angeles Kings would be perched on top of the Western Conference standings 34 games in I would have asked them what kind of pot they were smoking. But that is what is happening. The Kings are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games played. The last time they lost in regulation was on November 26 against the...Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks also
beat the Kings 2-1 in a shootout on October 29.
Roberto Luongo Andrew Raycroft was solid in that game and Mikael Samuelsson scored the tying goal in regulation and the winning goal in the shootout.
Oh, Samuelsson, where have you gone? He had 14 points in his first 16 games as a Canuck, but only 7 points in his last 16 games played.
We were warned that he was inconsistent. Now we are seeing it first-hand.
The Canucks are off to a flying 2-0 start on their long homestand. They stopped the red-hot Wild in their tracks on Saturday, but this will be the first time in 3 games they face a rested team who has not played back-to-back. Jonathan Quick is smokin' right now. As Canucks.com puts it: he is 7-1-1 with a 2.15 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in his last nine starts for the Kings.
The Kings will be without Wayne Simmonds for a while as he suffered a lower body injury against the Stars last game. RudyKelly at Battle of California called Simmonds the Kings best player over the past 2 weeks. This brings joy to my heart. He has 9 goals and 20 points in 33 games this season, nearly matching his total of all last season.
Look down the Kings' scoring leaders though. There are plenty of guys who can put up points.
I wouldn't think that Alain Vigneault would change the lineup, but I, like many of you, am wondering why he is playing Darcy Hordichuk for only 4 or less minutes per game. Why not fill that spot with someone else (and no, not Wellwood)?
GOALS PER GAME AVERAGE: Canucks 4th, Kings 6th
GOALS AGAINST PER GAME : Canucks 9th, Kings 21st
5 ON 5: Canucks 3rd, Kings 16th
POWER PLAY: Canucks 2nd, Kings 11th
PK: Canucks 27th, Kings 28th. WTF??
SHOTS PER GAME: Canucks 12th, Kings 22nd
SHOTS AGAINST PER GAME: Kings 4th, Canucks 10th
FACEOFF WINS %: Canucks 11th, Kings 21st
If you are scoreboard watching tonight: The Red Wings play the Coyotes at home tonight. If the Wings win they bump Dallas out of 8th spot. If they lose in OT and the Canucks win, there will be a 3-way tie for 8th with Dallas having played one less game. I want to see a Wings loss in regulation and a Canucks victory to tie us with Dallas. Piss off Bertuzzi!