Vancouver Canucks (11-13-2) vs Los Angeles Kings (8-14-1)
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC
When: 7:00 pm PST
Where to Watch: Sportsnet Pacific
SB Nation Opposition Blog: Jewels From The Crown
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: There’s excitement in the air heading into this one, and it’s not just because A) The Canucks are playing the team that they snapped their brutal losing streak against and B) The Kings are just awful and that should make everyone feel warm and fuzzy, and also C) It’s the return of Willie D and they’re gonna do some kind of video tribute to thank him for the three years he put his through and it’s gonna be peak Canucks. No, the excitement is because Brock Boeser could be ready to return to the lineup tonight!
The Canucks have seemed to rush players back from injury at times over the last few seasons, much to their detriment. So it was at least reassuring that they took their time and made sure Boeser was 100% this time before returning to the lineup. And make no mistake, one of the reasons things spiraled out of control in November was even though this isn’t a great team, they’re significantly worse without him.
This game should be an even more spirited affair than we saw on Saturday, as Jake Virtanen and Dion Phaneuf renew their rivalry. The trading of hits between these two, and the game that Virtanen played in response to it all was one of the best parts of the night. Jake’s really starting to show the kind of night in, night out consistency that many questioned he was capable of at the start of his career.
Another thing that was good on the weekend? Alex Edler’s return and the stabilizing effect it had on the defence. Now, it was far from perfect, but given how brutal it’s been over his absence, it showed just how important he is to this team’s success. The other big question tonight: does Troy Stecher sit again tonight? Many were surprised and frustrated when Travis Green sat the Richmond Kid in place of Alex Biega, especially given he has been one of the better defensive performers this season.
Here’s some stuff to read to get you ready for tonight: The Province with 5 Keys to the Game... A former teammate of OLASEP says he’s only “going to get better and better”... As important as it was to get Alex Edler back into the lineup, a healthy Edler could help the Canucks in the future, especially if they look to deal him to a contender at the deadline... The Kings have called up the leading scorer from their AHL team to try and kickstart things...
The Los Angeles Kings have recalled forward Sheldon Rempal from the Ontario. https://t.co/puF13wEFOj— LAKingsPR (@LAKingsPR) November 26, 2018
The Kings are coming off a big win Sunday night, 5-2 over the Oilers. They did it without much help from their prized free agent signing from the summer, Ilya Kovalchuk.
Los Angeles Kings forward Ilya Kovalchuk had 10 points in 11 games when head coach John Stevens was replaced by Willie Desjardins.— Complete Hockey News (@CompleteHkyNews) November 26, 2018
He has 3 points in 10 games since, all in Desjardins’ first game, and was limited to just 6:20 in ice time last night. #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/sSOIIm1OER
Yeah, Willie’s obviously gonna be trying to get Kovalchuk to start blocking more shots or other such nonsense. Either way, this isn’t gonna help the Kings as they try and claw their way out of the basement... Speaking of Willie D, I am just gonna post this piece from our pals over at Jewels From The Crown here, and not say a word... We’ll post their Preview when it’s up, in the meantime here’s the projected lineups for tonight from The Province...
Antoine Roussel — Bo Horvat — Sam Gagner
Nikolay Goldobin — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Jake Virtanen — Markus Granlund — Loui Eriksson
Brendan Leipsic — Adam Gaudette — Tyler Motte
Alex Edler — Alex Biega
Ben Hutton — Erik Gudbranson
Michael Del Zotto — Chris Tanev
Jacob Markstrom — Anders Nilsson
Alex Iafallo — Anze Kopitar — Dustin Brown
Kyle Clifford — Jeff Carter — Tyler Toffoli
Austin Wagner — Adrian Kempe — Matt Luff
Ilya Kovalchuk — Mike Amadio — Nate Thompson
Derek Forbort — Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin — Alec Martinez
Paul Ladue — Dion Phaneuf
Cal Petersen — Peter Budaj
Canucks: Brock Boeser (adductor, game-day decision), Brandon Sutter (separated shoulder, IR), Sven Baertschi (concussion, IR), Jay Beagle (forearm fracture, IR).
Kings: Jonathan Quick (knee, IR), Jack Campbell (knee, IR), Carl Hagelin (knee, IR), Trevor Lewis (foot, day-to-day) Johnny Brodzinski (shoulder, IR), Gabriel Vilardi (back, IR).
Canucks: 17th (20.0%)
Kings: 28th (15.3%)
Canucks: 23rd (76.0%)
Kings: 29th (73.9%)
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
The Venice Beach Crossover scene is probably best known for producing the legendary Suicidal Tendencies, as well as bands like Excel, Uncle Slam, No Mercy and Los Cycos. Beowulf first appeared on the ‘Welcome To Venice’ compilation put out on Suicidal Records. The band would release their self titled debut on Suicidal, before following ST and Excel over to Caroline Records for their follow up, “Lost My Head... But I’m On The Right Track” The band has released 6 albums to date and is still active, now featuring former Fear Factory bassist Christian Olde-Wolbers. Here’s a track from their debut called “Americanizm”.