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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME 77: CANUCKS vs ANAHEIM

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They still have to play these games, might as well watch them...

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Vancouver Canucks Dom Gagne-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks (32-34-10) vs Anaheim Ducks (31-36-10)

Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC

When: 7:00 pm PST

Where to Watch: Sportsnet Pacific

SB Nation Opposition Blog: Anaheim Calling

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Got the taste of that last game washed out of your mouth? Good. It was ugly, we vented, and there’s plenty of time for us to go over what we think needs to change, so let’s move on.

When a team finds itself in the situation that the Canucks have for the last few years, it tends to create a situation where the weight of reality forces you to look for anything that can be viewed as a positive one. Enter Josh Teves.

The recent NCAA free agent signing is set to make his NHL debut tonight, after Derrick Pouliot put in a swan song performance Sunday night that was, well... classic Pouliot. Teves will pair up with Alex Biega, meaning Ashton Sautner and Luke Schenn will be the middle pairing tonight. As far as forwards go, expect Josh Leivo and Tim Schaller to draw back in as Nikolay Goldobin again is singled out as the forward to sit after an across the board bad night for all four lines. Tyler Motte suffered an upper body injury in the game Sunday night and he will sit as well.

Much of the discussion heading into tonight is whether or not this will be Ryan Kesler’s last season and as such, his last appearance in Vancouver. If the Canucks were charging full steam ahead into a playoff run I am sure this wouldn’t be the blip on the radar it is currently, so it is what it is. And there certainly seems to be a move to pay tribute to Kesler for his contributions as a Canuck right now. I get why people feel this way, but let me put this out there for you to consider. Look at how long it took the Canucks to get over the Pavel Bure situation. Yes, they waited far too long, and a lot of that was residual anger that was dripping from the walls left there by Brian Burke. Bottom line, the team and the fans felt betrayed and needed time to get over it. Give us some time. Honestly, a Kesler tribute video tonight, on top of all of the crap we’ve had to endure from this team this season would feel like they’re trolling us. Give it a year or so, then wheel him out on the ice, show a nice video with some Roberto Luongo and Alex Burrows cameos, put him in the ring of honour and it’s done. As for right now, there’s a sizable chunk of the fan base that still views him as a rat bastard, and maybe giving a shit about the fans for a little will go a long way.

Via the Province, here’s what we should see from both teams tonight:

PROJECTED LINEUPS

CANUCKS

Forwards

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatLoui Eriksson

Josh LeivoElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

Sven BaertschiAdam GaudetteMarkus Granlund

Tim Schaller — Jay BeagleJake Virtanen

Defence

Alex Edler — Troy Stecher

Ashton SautnerLuke Schenn

Josh Teves — Alex Biega

Goal

Jacob MarkstromThatcher Demko

DUCKS

Forwards

Rickard RakellSam SteelJakob Silfverberg

Nick RitchieAdam HenriqueTroy Terry

Corey PerryDevin ShoreKiefer Sherwood

Max JonesDerek GrantCarter Rowney

Defence

Hampus LindholmJosh Manson

Cam FowlerAndy Welinski

Jaycob MegnaKorbinian Holzer

Goal

Ryan MillerJohn Gibson

INJURIES

Canucks: Tyler Motte (upper body), Antoine Roussel (knee), Quinn Hughes (foot, day-to-day), Ben Hutton (foot, day-to-day), Chris Tanev, (ankle), Brandon Sutter (hernia surgery), Guillaume Brisebois (hip, day-to-day).

Ducks: Ryan Kesler (hip), Ryan Getzlaf (upper body, day-to-day), Ondrej Kase (shoulder), Chad Johnson (head), Jacob Larsson (charley horse, day-to-day), Nick Ritchie (upper body, possible).

SPECIAL TEAMS

Power play

Canucks: 26th (16.0%)

Ducks: 21st (17.1%)

Penalty kill

Canucks: 14th (80.9%)

Ducks: 25th (78.9 %)

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN: Giving it to you low and slow today with some old school Paradise Lost, from the album ‘Icon’.