Vancouver Canucks (32-35-10) vs Los Angeles Kings (28-40-8)
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: While we await official confirmation, all signs point to last years 7th overall pick Quinn Hughes to make his NHL debut tonight. With his injured ankle healed and some practice time with the team under his belt, the Canucks will finally be able to see the guy they’re counting on the be the anchor a new defence core is built around.
I think it’s important to remember to keep the bar at a reasonable height to start with. He’s been out of game situations for a couple weeks now, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if there’s hiccups tonight. It’s all about getting him used to the speed of the game at this level and trying to take what he has and see how it all fits. The important thing, in a season where it’s once again felt like a punishment for choosing this team for one’s devotion, this is a time where we can actually enjoy the moment.
Hughes will lineup alongside Luke Schenn tonight, a good move by Travis Green to ensure that he’s paired up with a veteran that’s not going to require him to play a ton of minutes out of the gate. With Ben Hutton returning to the lineup he’ll be back with his usual partner in Troy Stecher, so that sees Alex Biega move to the top pairing with Alex Edler. Biega has been playing some of the best hockey of this career over the last few weeks so this seems like a nod to that from the coaching staff.
They’re facing a Los Angeles Kings team that’s coming off an 8-4 thumping at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, so one can imagine that Willie Desjardins’ squad will be a little bit prickly tonight. We all knew the Kings window has been closing for a while now, but it’s hard to tell whether it was a giant mistake or a stroke of genius to bring in Willie after firing head coach John Stevens 13 games into the season. The Kings have a pretty decent shot of landing the coveted 1st overall pick in this years NHL Entry Draft, and ensure themselves of a player they can plan a rebuild around. Gross.
Via The Province, here’s what we should see on the ice tonight from these two terrible hockey teams:
LW – C – RW
Josh Leivo — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Loui Eriksson
Sven Baertschi — Adam Gaudette — Jake Virtanen
Markus Granlund — Jay Beagle — Tim Schaller
Alex Edler — Alex Biega
Ben Hutton — Troy Stecher
Quinn Hughes — Luke Schenn
Goalies: Jacob Markstrom, Thatcher Demko
LW – C – RW
Alex Iafallo — Anze Kopitar — Dustin Brown
Carl Grundstrom — Adrian Kempe — Tyler Toffoli
Kyle Clifford — Jeff Carter — Trevor Lewis
Austin Wagner — Jonny Brodzinski — Kurtis MacDermid
Derek Forbort — Drew Doughty
Alec Martinez — Matt Roy
Sean Walker — Dion Phaneuf
Goalies: Jonathan Quick, Jack Campbell
Canucks: Brandon Sutter (hernia), Antoine Roussel (knee), Ryan Spooner (groin), Chris Tanev (foot)
Canucks: 15.9% (27th)
Kings: 16.3% (26th)
Canucks: 80.7% (14th)
Kings: 75.5% (29th)
In other news, the Canucks have nominated Jacob Markstrom as their Masterton Trophy nominee this season.
Maturing Markstrom makes his mark as Masterton nominee for Canucks https://t.co/Xz8wmH8oEp— Canucks PR (@CanucksPR) March 28, 2019
And with Moose Jaw being eliminated from the WHL playoffs last night, expect an announcement soon that Jett Woo will sign an Amateur Try Out contract with the Utica Comets to allow him to finish the season in the AHL.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN: Some ripping Swedish crust metal for you today courtesy MARTYRDOD. Their new album ‘Hexhammaren” is out May 10 on Century Media Records.