Canucks Army GDT #76 - Ducks @ Canucks

Dimitri Filipovic
March 29 2014 02:23PM

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 1.05.09 PM
Image via Earl Sleek

In theory, the Anaheim Ducks are hardly the fearsome opponent that they'd appear to be on paper based on their sparkling 47-18-8 record this season. They've been a prime regression candidate (much like Vancouver's most recent opponent) for a while now, and it appears to be starting to catch up to them. 

They've won just 5 of their 12 games in March, with a handful of performances ranging from uninspiring to downright worrisome mixed in there. Heck, they just most recently had all sorts of difficulties with their swing through the province of Alberta, which isn't exactly known for its stellar hockey product these days.

But for whatever reason they appear to be a team that gives these Vancouver Canucks all sorts of fits this year, having beaten them all 3 times they've faced off. It's not so much that they've won all of those meetings, though. Moreso it's that they've humbled them in a bad way; including both a 9-1 rout and the worst possession game of the season for the Canucks.

Fourth time's the charm? I mean, at this point basically just showing up to the arena would be an improvement on their past showings against the Ducks in 2014 to-date.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST

TV: CBC

The Canucks

[via Daily Faceoff]:

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 12.22.40 PM

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 12.22.33 PM

Obviously the big lineup news is that, by all accounts, Kevin Bieksa is somewhat miraculously expected to play tonight despite the ugly looking injury he suffered against the Avs. He has been doing this thing long enough to know his own body and what not, but I just hope he's not rushing himself back in before he's actually physically capable of competing. Risking further, potentially more serious injury for this current situation would be rather misguided.

We didn't cover this news yesterday on this platform, but the team was obviously more than just a little dubious regarding his availability for this one based on the news that they've recalled Frankie Corrado from Utica

Now it sounds like Corrado won't even dress because of Bieksa's sudden recovery, which sucks for both Frankie and the Comets. He'll be sitting in the pressbox wearing a suit instead of doing his part in trying to ensure that at least one team affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks makes the playoffs this season. I'm sure that the Comets could've used his presence on the blueline in last night's shootout loss, and in tonight's game against the Abbotsford Heat. 

Eddie Lack starts again for what seems like the billionth time in a row and at this point I think we should only make note of who's starting for the Canucks only if it's not him.

The Ducks

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Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 12.22.12 PM

The Ducks will be sitting Teemu Selanne in an attempt to keep him fresh (not that it would necessarily matter because he's not even that good a hockey player anymore, but he did have 2 of his 9 goals this season the last time we saw him). They'll also start Frederik Andersen for the 3rd time this season against the Canucks, since Hiller went last night in Edmonton.

Here's their fenwick chart in 5v5 close situations:

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 1.18.27 PM

The thing is: in the grand scheme of things this is probably a bigger game for them than it is for the Canucks. They've had themselves a wildly successful regular season thus far, but if things hold up the way that they are it could mostly be all for naught. 

If they have any sort of aspirations for winning a playoff round, they need to get the heck out of that collision course with the Los Angeles Kings that they're currently on. The difference between playing the Kings (who I'd predict they'd lose to in 5, maybe 6 games at best) and the Coyotes/Wild (who they'd be legitimate favourites against) is as big as there is in this year's playoff picture, and they're surely aware of it. 

Which makes their March malaise even more worrisome for Ducks fans.

The Numbers

[via Extra Skater]:

Canucks Ducks
5v5 Corsi Close % 52.0 (T-8th) 50.0 (14th)
5v5 GF/60 2.18 (T-19th) 2.93 (1st)
5v5 GA/60 2.16 (11th) 2.07 (7th)
5v5 PDO 99.9 (T-14th) 102.2 (2nd)
     
5v4 GF/60 4.99 (25th) 5.53 (22nd)
5v4 SF/60 58.7 (4th) 52.4 (12th)
4v5 GA/60 4.82 (5th) 6.59 (22nd)
4v5 SA/60 39.7 (1st) 51.5 (19th)

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Dimitri Filipovic writes about hockey on the internet, and is the Managing Editor of Canucks Army. You can follow him on Twitter @DimFilipovic, and email him at dimitri.filipovic@gmail.com.
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#1 argoleas
March 29 2014, 03:16PM
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Love the cartoon. I think we can also add a wolf, coyote, yeti, and whatever we can use for a star. And then they can pee on the corpse, at least until next season.

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#2 Brent
March 29 2014, 03:29PM
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More bizarre line up combinations. I just don't get it. I know we used to wonder about AV sometimes but this is way, way worse. So why did we get a coach who doesn't seem to like/use analyticals? And why, oh why is sestito playing. Why not Archibald. He is big, but has the advantage of some speed, and arguably more hockey skills. But I believe that has been discussed before, and lets just hope it is not coaching but the owner who likes having a big galute who is also a tax hating ultra right wing capitalist pig dog similar to himself on the team.

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#3 No Cup for You!
March 29 2014, 06:43PM
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@Brent

It's not the coach, it's the players...you know, the ones who are on the ice? Torts has an ice level view on that group of quitters, he knows what they are not capable of, and it's no secret that that group isn't worth a damn without Salo, Erhoff, Rome and Torres. The real core left long ago, the faux core is still around. Ever watch their faces on Tv when they are losing. You can see the look of deer caught in headlights in their faces. They were exposed even with a better team during the finals and Gillis has done nothing but make things worse.

This team was terrible before Torts came along. When are you guys going to realize that you shouldn't be brining turtles to a rabbit race? The Canucks are slow, have no compete, and have no purpose but to expect others to give them a free ride, ala- " pump my tires Luongo". The players need to try EARNING something for a change. take a look at your captain, he's done nothing but talk for most of the season. burros has disappeared. Luongo was a tumor. The D is horrible. The GM is the worst but oddly great at wasting time. The rest of the league knows the Canucks are a joke, and deep down inside, the rest of the players here know that too. I'm sure the Canucks would love for players to come in here and "help" them. But why should they? Why can't you Canucks help themselves? Because they CAN"T. Don't expect Torts to save ppl who can't and won't save themselves. The same old, " it's everyone's fault" but us mentality. Will that ever change? Based on 44 years...nope.

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#4 Dylan Sherlock
March 29 2014, 07:52PM
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@No Cup for You!

"Salo, Erhoff, Rome and Torres. The real core"

lololololol

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#5 No Cup For You
March 29 2014, 10:54PM
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@Dylan Sherlock

I'am soooo wrong that your "core" has NO cup. Where is your captain this year friend? Where is his sister? Where is the mighty Kesler this year? Where is the great Edler? Where is the titan Luongo? LMFAO. Still believe in those payers? Oh, let e guess, the cup will come next year right? Than what was this year for, just like the other 43 years? Let me guess again... Canucks doing what they do best...WASTING TIME. Your power play went from tops to the bottom of the barrel the year after the finals. Boston raped you so good, most of the team still has PTSD, especially your fat incompetent GM, ho has never even made it to the nhl, let alone won anything. Why hire winners when you can hire losers?

Oh but I'm wrong, your group of losers are doing soooo well this year. Get the golf clubs ready for the summer ladies. LOL

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#6 Gored1970
March 30 2014, 10:18AM
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Hansen is 12th in Canucks scoring with 20 points. He skates all over the place but rarely accomplishes anything. Why does he even get a sniff at lining up in the top 6? Too bad you can't have an age limit to post to ban little kids from posting. So sad.

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