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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME THIRTY-THREE: Canucks @ Los Angeles- Dec 30, 2021

The Canucks go for the California sweep tonight as Jaroslav Halak leads the Canucks into LA to take on the Kings, looking to win their 8th straight game.

Vancouver Canucks v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (15-15-2) vs LOS ANGELES KINGS (14-12-5)

STAPLES CENTER, LOS ANGELES, CA

7:30PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: JEWELS FROM THE CROWN

Try to wrap your head around this one if you can: With a regulation win over the Kings, and a regulation loss by San Jose to Philadelphia tonight, the Canucks will vault over the Kings, Sharks, Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets to sit two points back of Edmonton, Colorado and Calgary. How insane is that, given their situation just over three weeks ago when they fired their management and coaches?

The odds were damn near astronomical, and while it’s not a certainty given that almost everyone ahead of them has games in hand, the Canucks have battled their way into the playoff conversation in the West. Even more mind blowing is that they’ve done it by being one of the best defensive teams in the NHL right now.

The win streak could end tonight, but the fact they’ve given this fan base hope in a season that was certainly going to end as one of the most dreadful in this team’s history is pretty amazing. I mean, as much as we all love to cheer the Canucks on, the last few years have been absolutely hellish at times. And I don’t know about you, but I would be perfectly happy to never hear the term ‘moral victory’ ever again.

And this is not your usual ‘new coach bounce’. A win tonight will be one for the record books.

And wasn’t that a gutsy win last night? Battling from behind against a goaltender who’s pretty much owned them for years to get the win in overtime. And doing it without Brock Boeser, who’s been one of the hottest Canucks since Boudreau’s arrival in Vancouver, makes it that much more impressive.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, these are what you might see in tonight’s game in terms of lines:

Canucks projected lineup

Tanner PearsonJ.T. MillerAlex Chiasson

Jason DickinsonBo HorvatNils Hoglander

Vasily PodkolzinElias PetterssonConor Garland

Justin DowlingJuho LammikkoTyler Motte

Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Brad HuntTucker Poolman

Jaroslav Halak

Thatcher Demko

Scratched: Kyle Burroughs

Injured: Guillaume Brisebois (undisclosed), Travis Hamonic (lower body), Matthew Highmore (upper body), Brandon Sutter (illness), Brady Keeper (leg)

COVID-19 protocol: Brock Boeser, Phillip Di Giuseppe

Kings projected lineup

Alex IafalloAnze KopitarAdrian Kempe

Trevor MooreAlex TurcotteViktor Arvidsson

Carl GrundstromRasmus KupariLias Andersson

Brendan LemieuxBlake LizotteArthur Kaliyev

Mikey AndersonDrew Doughty

Christian WolaninMatt Roy

Tobias BjornfotSean Durzi

Jonathan Quick

Cal Petersen

Scratched: Vladimir Tkachev, Jacob Moverare

Injured: Andreas Athanasiou (lower body), Alexander Edler (ankle)

COVID-19 protocol: Dustin Brown, Olli Maatta, Phillip Danault

A few not so familiar names in the LA lineup as they deal with a couple injuries, most notably to Alex Edler, and a handful of COVID cases.

The Canucks will go with mostly the same lineup tonight, with a couple changes. Justin Dowling has been placed on the COVID protocol list, so we could see Matthew Highmore, who was taken off injured reserve moments ago, possibly getting into the game tonight in place of Dowling. Jaroslav Halak will get the start tonight as the Canucks play the tail end of the back to back and wrap up the calendar year before starting the new year with a game in Seattle.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

A little fun for the last GDBH of 2021. I love me a good mashup, and this one combining the Temptations and Overkill is absolutely brilliant. Check out ‘Hello From Cloud Nine’ and if you like this, then check out Bill McClintock’s YouTube page for more of his awesome mashups.

Enjoy the game, and Happy New Year from all of us at Nucks Misconduct. Go Canucks Go!