There are a lot of Canucks on the hot seat right now.
Arguably though, the two guys facing the most pressure are head coach Bruce Boudreau and winger Brock Boeser.
Jim Rutherford clearly isn’t a big fan of the Canucks’ bench boss, and rumours are starting to swirl about the team looking for a new coach.
Up front, a ton of Canucks have struggled, but Brock Boeser has to be near the top of that list. The winger has been putting up points (nine assists in 11 games) but he’s yet to score and his numbers defensively are absolutely horrendous.
Among NHLers who’ve skated for at least 100 even-strength minutes this season, Boeser’s 6.19 goals against per 60 is worst in the NHL.
That’s not just bad luck either, as his 4.09 goals against per 60 is second worst in the league, behind only Derick Brassard.
That’s the bad, but the good is that Boeser and the Canucks are playing the Kings tonight.
LOS ANGELES KINGS (10-7-1) vs. VANCOUVER CANUCKS (5-9-3)
ROGERS ARENA. VANCOUVER, BC. 7:00 PM PST
TV: SN PACIFIC /// RADIO: SN650
The last time the Canucks faced the LA Kings, Boeser had two goals, including the OT winner.
That was the last time he scored a goal, making it 12 games dating back to last season where he hasn’t scored.
Boeser has torched the Kings throughout his NHL career, with 10 goals and five assists in 12 games against LA.
Boudreau could also use some good mojo right now, and the Kings might be the tonic for him as well.
If you recall, Boudreau’s first game behind the Canucks bench last season was against LA. He led the Canucks to a 4-0 victory, and the “Bruce, There It Is” chants were born.
Although the Kings are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, perhaps this is a game where the Canucks can reminisce on the good times and extract those positive vibes in order to find a win.
JT Miller — Bo Horvat — Conor Garland
Andrei Kuzmenko — Elias Pettersson — Ilya Mikheyev
Nils Hoglander — Sheldon Dries — Brock Boeser
Dakota Joshua — Nils Aman — Vasily Podkolzin
Quinn Hughes — Luke Schenn
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Ethan Bear
Riley Stillman — Tyler Myers
Starting goalie: Thatcher Demko (unconfirmed)
Backup: Spencer Martin
Scratched: William Lockwood, Jack Rathbone, Kyle Burroughs
Injured: Tucker Poolman (undisclosed), Travis Dermott (concussion), Curtis Lazar (undisclosed), Tanner Pearson (hand), Jack Studnicka (lower body)
Jack Rathbone and Kyle Burroughs were on the “fourth pair” at practice. Lazar was also back at practice, swapping in with Podkolzin on the fourth line. Lockwood rotated with Boeser on the third line.
Adrian Kempe — Anze Kopitar — Gabriel Vilardi
Trevor Moore — Philip Danault — Victor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala — Rasmus Kupari — Carl Grundstrom
Jaret Anderson-Dolan — Blake Lizotte — Arthur Kaliyev
Mikey Anderson — Drew Doughty
Sean Durzi — Matt Roy
Alex Edler — Sean Walker
Starting goalie: Cal Peterson (unconfirmed)
Backup: Jonathan Quick
Scratched: Lias Andersson, Jacob Moverare
Injured: Brendan Lemieux (lower body), Alex Iafollo (lower body)
No idea who’s going to start tonight. My unsolicited hunch is that the Kings go back with Cal Peterson after he stopped 22 of 23 shots against the Kings on Wednesday night. He’s 5-2 on the season but has a dreadful .878 save percentage.
The Kings as a whole are bleeding goals. They’ve scored the 4th-most goals in the league, but they’ve allowed the 5th-most.
Their most surprising goal scorer has been Gabe Vilardi. The 11th overall pick in 2017 has 10 goals and 15 points in 19 games this season.
He has 18 goals in 89 games prior to the start 2022-23.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Boudreau, Boeser and the Canucks as a whole could use a little Dr. Feelgood.
Enjoy the game, folks.