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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME EIGHTY-ONE: Canucks vs Los Angeles- Apr 28, 2022

It’s Fan Appreciation night against the Kings, one last home game after falling just short of a miraculous run to the playoffs, as the Canucks end a tumultuous season with a home and away back to back.

Los Angeles Kings v Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (39-30-11) vs LOS ANGELES KINGS (44-27-10)

ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC

7:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: JEWELS FROM THE CROWN

It was a valiant effort to be sure, but the combination of a brutal two months to start the season, a myriad of injuries and COVID infections saw the Vancouver Canucks dig a hole they weren’t able to get out of this season. Still, it was pretty great to have meaningful hockey games at all this season after the way they started, let alone all the way to game 80 on the schedule. And while there’s going to be plenty of time to dissect what went wrong, tonight should be about showing some love to this team.

For the first time in a long time it actually feels like things could get better, though they definitely have their work cut out for them in trying to put together a team for next season and beyond that is able to get over the hump. They’ll also need to use their budget a lot more wisely than the previous regime, whose constant missteps and overpayments predictably, and most of the time comically, came back to bite them on the ass.

It’s a shame they aren’t still in the hunt, because this game would have been absolutely insane, knowing that both teams were battling for their playoff lives. Alas, it’s not, and I suppose we can take solace in the fact that their opponent tonight will either get their asses handed to them by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round, or pull off the upset. There’s not a bad result with this one, honestly.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, tonight’s disasterpiece will probably look like this:

Kings projected lineup

Andreas AthanasiouAnze KopitarAdrian Kempe

Alex IafalloBlake LizotteGabriel Vilardi

Carl GrundstromQuinton ByfieldArthur Kaliyev

Brendan LemieuxRasmus KupariLias Andersson

Mikey AndersonMatt Roy

Tobias BjornfotTroy Stecher

Jacob MoverareAustin Strand

Cal Petersen

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Alexander Edler, Olli Maatta, Trevor Moore, Phillip Danault, Dustin Brown, Sean Durzi, Jordan Spence, Viktor Arvidsson

Injured: None

Canucks projected lineup

Conor GarlandJ.T. MillerAlex Chiasson

Vasily PodkolzinElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

Jason DickinsonBrad RichardsonMatthew Highmore

Sheldon DriesJuho LammikkoNic Petan

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Brad HuntTravis Dermott

Spencer Martin

Arturs Silovs

Scratched: Kyle Burroughs

Injured: William Lockwood (upper body), Thatcher Demko (undisclosed), Jaroslav Halak (upper body), Bo Horvat (lower body), Tanner Pearson (upper body), Tucker Poolman (upper body), Nils Hoglander (lower body)

The Kings are quite obviously resting players, including Alex Edler (BOO! You bastards!), as they get ready for the start of the playoffs next week. The Canucks added another name to their substantial injury list as Will Lockwood will not be in the lineup tonight.

GAME DAY CHATTER

Love this man. Seriously, I would love the hell out of seeing them end the year by passing Vegas in the standings.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Some high speed Finnish thrash metal tonight, as we offer up this track from LOST SOCIETY. Off their 2014 album ‘Terror Hungry’, this is ‘Game Over’.

Enjoy the game, folks! Go Canucks Go! Slava Ukraini!