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GAME DAY: Canucks vs Kings

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The funny thing about being the best, it brings with it a different set of problems than most face. Much like when the Canucks won back to back President's Trophies, the Stanley Cup Champs have everyone gunning for them, teams giving that little extra push to prove to themselves they can hang with he who wears the crown. But losing to the Oilers? Could it be this Emperor's done something with their clothes?

Rich Lam/Getty Images
Time Thurday 7:00 PM PST
TV Sportsnet
Season Series 1-0 Kings
Last Meeting
5-1 Kings Nov 8/14
The Enemy Jewels From The Crown Scoring Leaders D. Sedin: 8-23-31
J. Carter 8-18-28

Canucks
CATEGORY
Kings
21-11-3 SEASON RECORD 18-12-8
45 Points 44
5th Conference Position 9th
Won 1
Streak Lost 1
2.89 (9)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.68 (17)
2.66 (18)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.34 (6)
19.3 (12) Power Play % 20.6 (8)
87.3 (3) Penalty Kill % 81.0 (15)
48.1 (22) Faceoff Win % 51.2 (10)
10.5 (19) PIM / GP 10.5 (18)
49.6 (21) Corsi For % 53.5 (2)
100.2 (16) PDO 100.3 (13)

Sure they hoisted the Cup in June, but when you look at them of late, they look more like Chumps than Champs. The headline from the NHL.com preview says 'Kings Aim To Overtake Canucks In Pacific Division', and while it's true that the 9th place Kings can vault past the Canucks with a regulation win tonight, that tells so little of the real story. Like the Canucks, the Kings have only won 4 of their last 10, but with a whopping 8 Bettman points already this season, the Kings are actually 18-20 while the Canucks are 21-14. And believe me, having 3 games in hand on them is a large factor, even in January. The common line of thinking is that the Canucks have to prove that they're as good as this team. When you go through the list, and see the teams the Kings have lost to, it certainly seems to do the work for the Canucks case.

On their last meeting, the Canucks played poorly in the only real blemish of that California road swing. But after a pretty decent road game against a San Jose team that hadn't lost in 8 straight at home, and Ryan Miller seemingly settling into form over his last few starts, I think we'll see a much different match against the Kings than we've been used to of late. One thing that helps, these Kings are pathetic on the road, just 4 wins 18 attempts. That's not the mark of a champion, to be sure. And let's not forget, adjusting for OT and shootout losses, Jonathan Quick is 15-16 while Ryan Miller is 19-8 because #VancouverGoalieControversy.  Here's to the Canucks kicking off the New Year by laying the boots to Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown and the rest of these frauds. Now if we could just get all the MSM'ers to stop giving them the media version of lap dances and actually be critical of LA, but that would be asking for consistency, and as we know from other departments of the NHL, that's just not in the plans...

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

New Year, new results against menaces of the past, and new kickass Swedish metal! The Crown are back after an absence of over 4 years since their last one, and I can't wait to hear the whole thing.

Impromptu Drinking Games Rules

drink

- 1 Drink: Dustin Brown clean sheeting the game or no dives/dirty hits/ other assorted asshattery

- 1 Drink: Sportsnet panel regales Quick, tears down Miller

- 2 Drinks: Darryl Sutter gas face.

- 2 Drinks: Someone breaks the news that Drew Doughty has a strong personal dislike for the Canucks.

- 3 Drinks: Because you're probably still drunk from last night, you lush.

- 3 drinks: Linden Vey goal.