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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks @ Kings

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I spy, with my little eye, the Stanley Cup champs across the ice. And, fancy that, Doughty already took a dive.

Seen here in his natural state, Drew Doughty is terrible.
Seen here in his natural state, Drew Doughty is terrible.
Harry How

Time Saturday, 7:00 PST
TV CBC, TVA SPORTS 2, FS-W
Season Series 0-0
Last Meeting 
2-1 VAN 04/05/14
The Enemy Jewels from the Crown Scoring Leaders

H. Sedin 5-10-15
T. Toffoli 6-8-14

Canucks
CATEGORY
Kings
10-4-0 Season Record 7-4-3
20 Points 17
2nd Conference Position 6th
Won 2
Streak OT 1
3.21 (3rd)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.21 (26th)
2.71 (17th)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.00 (4th)
22.4 (8th) Power Play % 12.8 (26th)
87.3 (6th) Penalty Kill % 81.5 (14th)
47.1 (27th) Faceoff Win % 52.6 (7th)
11.3 (15th) PIM / GP 14.3 (27th)
31.3 (7th) Shots For / GP 29.6 (19th)
29.2 (13th) Shots Against / GP 33 (27th)
99.56 (18th) PDO 101.77 (5th)
49.7 (20th) Corsi For % 5v5 50.6 (17th)

Once again, let's go ahead and get the requisite Ryan Miller update out of the way:

Miller Wins Deux

The bumps are adding up: Kassian's LBI from the Avs game will sideline him for a second straight game. Then there's Sestito's LBI if you hate yourself enough to think he should actually be on a sheet of NHL ice. Annnnd Vrbata and Bonino are hiding nagging injuries as well, but since they're what the Urban Dictionary defines as fantastanomical they'll push through. The Kassian injury compelled the inevitable call to Utica to drum up baby Bure Nicklas Jensen. My guess would be either tonight or tomorrow in Anaheim they yank Horvat, push Richardson back to 4LC and shift Vey to center to weave Jensen in; now that I've said that, it will almost certainly be Matthias who sits instead. Regardless of what happens, it feels good to know some quality rookies are ready when the vets go down. Miller should get the start as he guns for his eight straight win, which would equal a career best win streak for Noureen DeWulf's husband.

For the bad guys, the hangover from their second Cup win is in full effect, which helps explain why their second line (dubbed "the 70's line" because, like Hollywood, they're out of creative ideas) and their 18 collective goals is keeping them afloat. As a result it'll be interesting to see how WD deploys his pairings between the Kopitar and Carter lines, Kopitar's especially since he and Gaborik won't continue their slumps much longer. Thanks to Slava Voynov's issues with acting like a normal human being (waaaaaaah), the salary cap and whatever's bothering Robyn Regehr's precious sense of self, the Kings are potentially down to five defensemen. Regehr may still play, but if not look for plenty of Doughty flopping more than usual as is his wont in life. Dating back to the 2012 playoff series, Quick is 10-5 against the Canucks with a 1.52 GAA. Then again it's Saturday night it's another day so he'll probably be drunk.

The last we saw the Kings we - by which I mean me - was rooting for them to crush the Cup dreams for the Sharks in historic fashion (check) and then to deny Vigneault's Rangers from even sniffing in the general direction of said Cup (check). Then they were kind enough to toss Vey out this summer who has quickly become an important addition to the top nine and on the PP. So, I don't say this often, but thank you Los Angeles. Now, since change scares me, let's go back to hating each other. Agreed?

Projected Lines

Vancouver:

Sedin - Sedin - Vrbata

Higgins - Bonino - Burrows

Matthias - Richardson - Vey

Dorsett - Horvat - Hansen

Edler - Tanev

Stanton - Bieksa

Hamhuis - Sbisa

Miller

Los Angeles:

Gaborik - Kopitar - Nolan

Pearson - Carter - Toffoli

King - Richards - Brown

Clifford - Stoll - Lewis

Muzzin - Doughty

Martinez - ???

McNabb - Greene

Quick

PREGAME BATTLE HYMN

I've said the title of this song three times this morning and it's barely past 10:00 AM, so I guess it'll be one of those days.

BEER OF THE GAME

Shaolin Fist for the win people.

Impromptu Drinking Games Rules

- 1 Drink: You hear Eric Cartman's voice

- 1 Drink: Dorsett takes a penalty during an offensive rush.

- 2 Drinks: Don Cherry's suit puts you in an epileptic seizure

- 2 Drinks: Richards misses an open net shot

- 3 Drinks: Eeny, meeny, miny...Jensen hat trick

- CHUG: A B-list celebrity is shown in the crowd on their phone.

Parting thoughts from Cheryl Tunt:

Score Prediction Wizard Update

Patience grasshoppers. In the meantime, enjoy this donkey in a manhole.