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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks @ Los Angeles

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I wonder how this one will turn out?

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Los Angeles Kings Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks @ Los Angeles Kings

Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

When: 7:30 PM PST

Where to watch: Sportsnet Pacific, FS-W

Where to listen: Sportsnet650

SB Nation Game Hub

Opposition Blog: Jewels From The Crown

Guys, I think other teams might be on to the Canucks being a really bad team right now...

It’s gotten so bad, I long for a moral victory. And let’s face it, it’s not going to be any easier tonight. The Canucks are taking on a Los Angeles team that can move into a wild card spot with a win tonight. You might want to keep the kids out of the room for this one, because it’s going to get ugly.

The Canucks have actually played the Kings fairly well of late, but without Boeser and Tanev, this team is not going to be able to hang with a team hungry to get to the post-season like the Kings. That’s not being negative, that’s being realistic. Now, last night’s game, as dreadfully boring as it was, showed a better effort from at least some Canucks skaters than the previous contest against the Coyotes. Eric Gudbranson and Alex Edler were decent on the back end. Jacob Markstrom had a good game, and will go back to back tonight. And I liked the energy that we saw out of Jake Virtanen and Darren Archibald. None of this is enough to compete in an NHL game though, and if the Coyotes had played even marginally better, it probably would have been a blow out.

The Canucks don’t have a prayer in this one, but what they can do is not get embarrassed by this Kings team. LA have a few players who will definitely look to rub salt into the open wounds that are the Canucks existence right now, so guys like Gudbranson and Archibald are going to need to ensure that there aren’t any more cheapshots taken like the one Trevor Lewis took on Brock Boeser.

Normally, I would say punish them on the scoreboard with a situation like this, but with Sam Gagner in Brock Boeser’s spot on the PP, and the knowledge that it’s somewhat akin to placing a piece of paper towel on a sucking chest wound, garbage like this needs to be addressed.

From theprovince.com here’s your projected lineups for tonight:

Canucks forwards

Brendan Leipsic-Bo Horvat-Sam Gagner

Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Jussi Jokinen

Darren Archibald-Brandon Sutter-Jake Virtanen

Reid Boucher-Nic Dowd-Tyler Motte

Defencep pairings

Alex Edler-Erik Gudbranson

Michael Del Zotto-Troy Stecher

Alex Biega-Derrik Pouliot

Starting goalie:

Jacob Markstrom

Kings forwards

Alex Iafallo- Anze Kopitar-Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson-Jeff Carter-Tyler Toffoli

Adrian Kempa-Mike Amadio-Trevor Lewis

Kyle Clifford-Nate Thompson-Torrey Mitchell

Defence pairings

Derek Forbort-Drew Doughty

Alec Martinez-Dion Phaneuf

Jake Muzzin-Christian Folin

Goalie

Jonathan Quick

Two early games we need to keep an eye on tonight are the Canadiens in Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets, and Ottawa in Florida to visit the Panthers. As much as I would love to see the Panthers continue their inspiring, Roberto Luongo-led roll to the playoffs, a loss to the Senators is a huge thing for the Canucks tanking chances tonight, with the Sens holding two games in hand.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

While Norway is best known in the metal world for being the home of Black Metal, thrash fans would be wise to check out some of the bands coming out of the region. From the album ‘House of Possesion’, here’s Shakma with ‘Blood Ritual’.