It was pretty shocking to see the way both San Jose and Anaheim no-showed those games, honestly. The Canucks didn't play so well that you could say they dominated the games, but neither the Sharks nor the Ducks did enough to garner a win, despite what was at stake for them. After all, a Ducks win last night against Dallas gave them 1st place in the Western Conference. So if you are a tinfoil hatter, those two games must reek to the heavens. Fortunately, the LA Kings would much prefer to have home ice I am sure, and come out to ensure they do just that.
So that leaves, after tonight's match a mere 3 games for the Canucks to improve their standing in the draft lottery. One game against the Calgary Flames, who are a point ahead of the Canucks right now, and 2 against the Oilers, which are the last 2 games the Oilers play this season. The Canucks are 4 points up on the Oilers, so anything but regulation losses the rest of the way ensures they cannot finish last. But lose these last 4, and with some help from the Leafs (who would need to win 2 of their last 4) and the Canucks would finish last and thus have the greatest odds of getting the first overall pick. They have the tiebreakers should they need them, as they have far fewer ROW's than either the Leafs or Oilers. It's not completely over, but it will take a minor miracle.
Of course, being a pessimistic Canucks fan, my gut tells me that this of all games is the one the Canucks finally manage to win as their 3rd in a row, something that's eluded them all season long, and one of the biggest factors they're in the mess they find themselves in. Now, when they actually would benefit greatly from not notching that 3rd straight, they'll get it. That's how they roll.
The Canucks will get some help tonight as Jake Virtanen returns to the lineup after his 2 game suspension, and with the possibility we could see at least one of Sven Baertschi, Chris Higgins or Linden Vey back tonight, it's not as bleak a lineup as it looked to be on Friday night. Ryan Miller's up in the goaltending rotation tonight, while the Kings might go with Jhonas Enroth, whose been playing very well for them, instead of Jonathan Quick.
Also tonight, if you're into games that actually mean something, the final of the Women's World Championships is set for a 7:30 puck drop in Kamloops. No surprise, it's Canada taking on the USA, after both teams won their semifinals yesterday: The Americans rolling easily over Russia 9-0 and Canada gutting out a 5-3 over the pesky Finnish squad. While some might see that as an issue, remember it was those same Finns that nearly upset the USA in the round robin.
The Canadians lost the tournament opener to the US last week, in a game that was nearly stolen by Canadian goalie Cadence Mashmeyer. She was brilliant, making 36 saves, many of them jaw-droppers. They'll need her to come up big again if Canada looks to reclaim the title in front of what will be a sold out Sandman Center in my old home town.
FRESH HOT LINKS
- Nazim Kadri will miss the rest of the season for the Leafs, which helps their tank efforts tremendously thanks to a 4 game suspension
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
I still can't believe he's gone. RIP Lemmy.
- Lazy Sunday Links: Back to Practice and a Contest Edition
- An "All Hands On Deck" Game Recap ( 3-2 W )
- GAME DAY COFFEE- Apr 1/16- Canucks @ Anaheim
- Canucks snap losing streak, beating the Sharks 4-2.
- Game Day Coffee- Mar 31/16- Canucks @ San Jose- Helpless In The Water