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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs Los Angeles- Mar 31/17

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Like a ghost from some horror movie, one of the narratives is back to haunt the Canucks: "They're not tough enough... OOoooOOoooooOOoooo!!!!" This team has a TON of things wrong and the last thing they should be worrying about is toughness.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings

7:00 PM PT - MTS Centre- Rogers Arena- Vancouver, BC

TV: SNP - Radio: TSN 1040

They can't score. They can't play defense. They can't put together a 60 minute game. They can't kill penalties or take advantage of them. But sure, let's make getting tougher a priority. As if the Canucks haven't spent enough of the last few seasons giving roster spots to guys who do absolutely nothing to help the team win, now we're hearing about the lack of toughness. Funny thing, toughness. If you can score goals, and make teams pay when they take penalties against you, it can be a non-issue. When this team gets out of the damn basement, then we can talk about adding that component, not before.

THE OPPOSITION

This is a huge game for LA, make no bones about it. Their slim playoff hopes are hanging by a thread right now, and the Canucks are poised with scissors in hand. If there's a bright spot for them, it's that the team that controls their fate at this moment probably shouldn't be trusted to use scissors by themselves.

I have to give the Kings credit where it's due. They made the Flames look like chumps the other night. While their focus and talk was all about Matthew Tkachuk and his war of words with Drew Doughty, the Kings answered where it mattered: on the scoreboard. Perhaps it's a sign that the Flames need to mature, but they got played by the Kings in that game. It doesn't change that the Kings are giant trash bag babies (case in point: Drew Doughty turning to look at the ref every single time he had any contact from Tkachuk), but they were focused on what truly mattered, and the Flames seemingly more about helping out a hot-tempered rookie fight his battle. It will be interesting to see how Tkachuk matures, and whether or not he learns to pick his spots better. Rageahol is a hell of a drug, and it can sink a team if you let it.

THE CANUCKS

The Griffen Molino era begins tonight. Try to contain your excitement. While the Canucks have had some success with the UFA out of college route (most notably Troy Stecher), this one has many scratching their heads. I tried to find a tweet that would easily sum up why this signing doesn't make a lot of sense for the Canucks, and this might be it:


I know lottery picks are part of the Canucks culture now, but that's ridiculous. Hey, maybe the kid will prove everyone wrong. And if he does, that's good news for all of you who went out and bought Nick Bonino jerseys a couple years ago.

Speaking of Troy Stecher, he's back in the lineup tonight, and because it wouldn't be a Canucks game without some type of Willie-related controversy, Nikolay Goldobin is a healthy scratch, and he's being replaced by Alex Biega. I am so looking forward to a new coaching regime.

Of course, a coaching change isn't going to solve everything. The Canucks are looking more and more like they'll re-sign Ryan Miller next season, as opposed to giving Jacob Markstrom the reigns. Markstrom's season was a disappointment, not so much because of how he played, but how much. Yes, Ryan Miller was decent, and I hate to think about how bad things would have gotten had these guys not played so well. The problem is that we still don't know what Markstrom is capable of, because Willie just flat out refuses to play him. Sure, he's hurt now, but when he was healthy, Miller would get multiple starts based on play, and Markstrom was not afforded that. Good game from Miller? He earned the next start. Bad game? He earned the right to make up for it? Goaltending is low down on the Canucks list of issues, but the way Willie's handled it might see it come to bite the Canucks on the ass again, and Jim Benning keeping Miller around could pretty much guarantee it.

By the way, the Women's World Championships start tonight and it's Canada and the USA going head to head in the opener. While it was great to see the US team get their issues worked out with USA Hockey and finally get treated with the respect they deserve, it feels good to go back to cheering against them. Best of luck to Team Canada tonight as they begin their quest to avenge that heartbreaking OT loss in the gold medal game last year in Kamloops. The game goes at 4:30 on TSN.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

As I know you're all eagerly anticipating the release of LICH KING's new album The Iconoclasm (lol... well I am, so fuck you!) Here's the latest preview track 'Preschool Cesspool' for ya.