November 25 2013 12:06PM
Let's hope for everyone's sake that Linden doesn't have his Vey with the Canucks again.
If you'll recall it was actually a 5-1 beatdown at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings back on November 9th which started this recent slide for the Canucks. Maybe you don't recall that, because you've perfected the art of blocking things like that from your memory as a coping mechanism. But let me assure you that it happened.
Why am I bringing that up? Well, other than being a mean jerk, I also think that the last few weeks have provided a relevant reassurance of what we already knew. Heading into that particular game the Kings were a team that was struggling to score goals, and as a result were held a 10-6 record. They were the league's 2nd best Corsi Close team (at 56.7%), though, which led us to believe that they were far better than they appeared to be at first glance. Since then they've gone 5-0-3 - despite not having their $58 million goaltender - en route to climbing up the standings in the West.
A really good possession team that can't score and hasn't found a way to win very many games lately.. that sounds vaguely familiar, no? Read on past the jump for a preview of tonight's divisional tilt.
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PDT
TV: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific
I think that the worst part of that November 9th game wasn't even anything that happened on the ice. In writing this preview I went back and scrolled down my timeline to that night, and was reminded of a few terrible things that happened:
-Mark Lee verbally felated Tyler Toffoli to the point that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had no choice but to tell Lee that they needed to go on a break.
-Linden Vey made a nice play leading to a goal, and Twitter became Pun Central.
-The Hockey Night in Canada panel had a scintillating conversation about how the Kings are the one team that provides the most trouble for the Canucks. Glenn Healy then went on to blow my mind:
EDITOR'S NOTE: We had a bit here discussing Zack Kassian's struggles, and how he'd probably be a healthy scratch with news that David Booth would draw back in. However, that appears not to be the case..
looking like David Booth - a healthy scratch in last 3 games - will play left wing with Ryan Kesler and Jannik Hansen #Canucks— Cam Tucker (@CamTucker_Metro) November 26, 2013
Santorelli between Higgins and Weise; Kassian on fourth line with Richardson and Sestito. Welsh is scratched. #Canucks— Brad Ziemer (@BradZiemer) November 26, 2013
Um, okay, then..
I think it's fairly obvious what the main talking point is heading into tonight's game, and it's the team's inability to score goals. Here are the number of goals they've managed to score over the past 9 games: 2, 4, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 6, 1. Here are the goals against totals for the Los Angeles Kings over that time frame: 0, 1, 2, 2, 0, 0, 2, 2, 1.
So with that being said.. how many do you think they'll be able to squeeze past The Professor - whose play I've thoroughly enjoyed, if only because it discredits the The Artist Formerly Known As Jonathan Quick that much more - Ben Scrivens? Now that I think about it, actually, I could totally see the Canucks scoring a few and winning despite being soundly beaten in the shot differential game. That would provide for an amusing recap..
Here's a look at the projected lineup for the visiting Kings [via Daily Faceoff]
It's still a tad bit early to be getting overly worked up about the standings, but there's no denying that the Canucks need to start winning some games or they'll risk digging themselves into a deep hole. As we stand right now they're 4 points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the final playoff spot in the West, but the 'Yotes have 2 games in hand on them. The Kings have 5 more points than them in one fewer game played. It goes without saying that these games against Pacific division opponents are huge.
THE NUMBERS GAME
|Corsi Close %||57.0% (2nd)||53.6% (5th)|
|5v5 GF/60||1.83 (23rd)||2.41 (9th)|
|5v5 GA/60||1.61 (3rd)||2.16 (15th)|
|PDO||99.4 (17th)||99.5 (16th)|
|5v4 GF/60||5.93 (19th)||3.39 (29th)|
|5v4 SF/60||55.1 (15th)||65.0 (2nd)|
|4v5 GA/60||6.07 (14th)||3.20 (1st)|
|4v5 SA/60||47.8 (7th)||44.4 (2nd)|
GAME DAY LINKS
- Tale of the Tape [via CDC]
- Drew Doughty, talkin' junk about the Sedins. [via Jim Jamieson]
- Ryan Kesler is a potty mouth. [via Ben Kuzma]
Royally Good Start - You get $2.25 for every $1 you wager if the Canucks score the first goal of the game, and wind up hanging on for the 'W'. If you think they'll bounce back to get a big win against their Pacific division rival, then sure, why not?
Kesler on the Kings - Do you believe that Ryan Kesler will score his 11th goal in a Canucks win? You can get 2.60-to-1 odds on that happening.
Be sure to sign up with the Canucks Army promo code "CANUCKSARMY" to receive $25 worth of free bets.