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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs Ducks

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Guess who's back? He's a polarizing figure. Some love him, some hate him. His mouth often gets him in trouble. Sure, there were good times, but those are in the past, right? Anyway, I am back from my break and ready to rock. Oh yeah, and the Ducks have brought their disease-riddled Caravan of Douchebaginess to Rogers Arena, with He Who Bailed.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Time Thursday, 7:00 PST
TV Sportsnet Vancouver
Season Series 1-0 Canucks
Last Meeting
2-1 (SO) Canucks Nov 9/14
The Enemy Anaheim Calling Scoring Leaders H. Sedin: 5-14-19
R. Getzlaf 5-12-17
13-6-0 SEASON RECORD 11-4-5
26 Points 27
3rd Conference Position 1st
Won 1
Streak Lost 1
2.95 (7)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.60 (18)
2.95 (22)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.35 (9)
19.7 (12) Power Play % 20.6 (9)
85.3 (7) Penalty Kill % 82.8 (13)
48.1 (23) Faceoff Win % 53.0 (4)
11.3 (20) PIM / GP 13.2 (27)
50.6 (15) Corsi For % 51.7 (10)
99.3 (20) PDO 100.0 (14)

Much like a certain ex-Canuck best spoken of as He Who Shall Not Be Named, the guy that used to wear #17 for the Vancouver Canucks is worthy of a nickname, rather than continuing to utter his name. That's why I propose he be referred to as He Who Bailed. I'm not going to deny he was a great player for the Canucks. He gave us a lot of good seasons, and we'd never have made the 2011 Finals without him. But for all the good that he did in the blue, green and white, this is something you cannot deny: When things started going south for this team, he, one of the 'leaders' of this team, chose to leave, in a way that was as heinous as possible given his contract situation.

Will I change my mind about this years from now? I can't say. I mean, Pavel Bure had a contract situation that saw him bail, but it's not like he and his agent (wasn't that Mike Gillis?) told the Canucks "I want a trade, send me to Florida!" And as good as He Who Bailed is, he is not Pavel Bure. So while some choose to get all sentimental and weepy about tonight, giving him the attention he thrives upon, I choose to remember that when it came time to retool this team, he decided he would rather go somewhere else than step up and be a leader.

And yes, it allows us to admit finally, that he was every bit the asshole others claimed him to be. Earlier this week, his assholishness drew praise from Calgary GM Brian Burke, saying "He wakes up grumpy, comes to the rink grumpy … (and) is belligerent, ugly." It's like they're kindred spirits. And true to form, he didn't disappoint in Calgary, serving up a helping of classic He Who Bailed:


(s/t to the awesome @myregularface for the gif)

Yup. After scoring on the shootout, He Who Bailed went half-ass Hulk Hogan on the Flames. Who does he think he is, Mason Raymond? The best part, was that after that, the Ducks still lost. Douche move? Douche move. But that more than anything else is why he's such a good fit in Anaheim. Not saying there's a lot of jerks on that team, but I wouldn't be surprised to see limiting the number of assholes a team can have be discussed at the next Board of Governors meeting. Seriously, they're totally hoarding.

As far as the Canucks go, it seems to me at the start of the season, we were told that we'd know what this team was all about after that California road swing. Counting the Colorado game they won 3 of 4, yet we're no closer to knowing if this team is the real deal than we were in September. Ryan Miller is tied for the league lead in wins, but his numbers are, well... they're terrible. Are they going to stay this way? Likely not. These last few games have been rough for Miller. Eddie Lack hasn't been much better, though his game against Anaheim  11 days ago was hands-down his best of the season so far, and he'll likely get the call again tonight against the Ducks, with Frederick Andersson the likely starter at the other end of the ice.

Last night's game could be used to sum up the Canucks entire season so far, couldn't it? Flashes of dominance, interspersed with mind-numbing breakdowns, but in the end they find a way to get it done. It's not the best way to do things, and god knows it's not sustainable, but the entertainment value of the Canucks compared to last season's version under John Tortorella is vastly superior. The question remains: is this a mirror of last year, where the Canucks started hot, then crumbled mid-season so badly, never regaining their form?

Though they've gotten Corey Perry back after his battle with the mumps (seriously, people. get your children immunized!) the Ducks are a seriously banged up team, and while they have points in 6 of their last 7 games, only one of them is a win. They'll likely look to ride the energy of He Who Bailed and get the jump on the Canucks, who unlike the Ducks played last evening (2nd time the Canucks play Anaheim in back to backs, with the Ducks being rested. Good job, NHL schedulers!). That being said, I think the Canucks will have little trouble getting up for tonight's game. By the way, the Canucks can make a little franchise history tonight:



New Faith No More? New Faith No More. The band released their first new recorded material since 1997 this week via Rolling Stone. This track will be available on a 7" single on Record Store Day, but here's a cool live version recorded at a European festival earlier this summer. Dedicated to He Who Bailed.


Go on. You know you're too afraid, you blouse-wearing poodle-walkers...

Impromptu Drinking Games Rules


- 1 Drink: Corey Perry's mumps mention.

- 1 Drink: Inference of a 'goaltending controversy' in Vancouver.

- 2 Drinks: A shot of Ryan Getzlaf's bald head.

- 2 Drinks: Fight off the opening faceoff.

- 3 Drinks: Tumbleweed.

- 3 Drinks: Suspension worthy over-reaction by the Ducks to a clean hit.

Parting thoughts from Sterling Archer

Should things go badly tonight...