The current cast of characters on the Anaheim Ducks sure do make it easy on us jokesters that enjoy having some fun at their expense. There’s Dustin Penner’s pancake escapades. There’s Ryan Getzlaf’s hair, and choice of beverage. There’s.. whatever Corey Perry is doing here. Heck, there’s even Mathieu Perreault’s celebration.
What we can’t make fun of, though, is what Vancouver’s opponent on Sunday evening has done this season. They’re 14-3-1 – including a 7-0-0 record at home – which is good for the highest point total in the league. So I think it’s fair to say that the Canucks have their work cut out for them less than 24 hours after a rather embarrassing 5-1 loss at the hands of the Kings.
Read on past the jump for a quick preview of tonight’s game. You’ll note the 5PM PST start time, so plan your Sunday evening accordingly.
Puck Drop: 5:00 PM PDT
TV: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific
There’s not much to talk about from Vancouver’s perspective heading into this game, since they didn’t have a morning skate. I’d expect that we’ll see the same line combinations that we’ve been seeing recently. Considering the fact that the Sedins were pretty much glued to the bench in the latter half of last night’s blowout, we should see a heavy dose of them in this one.
Also, it was announced last night that Eddie Lack will be giving Luongo a breather on Sunday, making his 4th start of the season. He comes into this game with a respectable .912 save percentage, and 2.52 goals-against-average, but this’ll easily mark the toughest test of his young career.
This is how Daily Faceoff has the Ducks lineup shaking out:
The Ducks present quite the conundrum for opposing defenses, for obvious reasons. In the past they were a top-heavy team that had one souped-up line; if you could contain Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, you’d be fine. Don’t get me wrong, because the Ducks still rely heavily on their big guns, who have accumulated 43 combined points in 18 games, but they’ve also got some serious depth up front.
As someone who follows the Canucks, and knows how disappointing their bottom-6 has been over the past year and a half or so, it’s hard not to look at what Anaheim has in their’s and salivate. Their depth makes sure that opposing teams can’t really take shifts off.
Their blueline made me pause back in the preseason, and it’s because of those concerns that I didn’t know how successful they’d be. But Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen have taken huge leaps early on this season, Bryan Allen has bounced back following a horrendous campaign that prompted me to wonder whether he’d be a buyout candidate, and Ben Lovejoy has proven to be a more than serviceable depth defenseman. It’s because of all of this that they’ve been able to lighten the load that Francois Beauchemin has to carry.
That’s a long way of saying that unlike last year – where they rode the percentages over the course of a shortened season, proving to be more lucky than good – they’re looking like a totally legit squad early on in 2013-14. Maybe fortunately for the Canucks, they’ll be starting Jonas Hiller and his .908 save% instead of Frederik Andersen and his .947 save%. Small victories.
It’s not all doom and gloom. After all, there’s a reason they play the games, right? Remember when the Canucks were supposed to lose to the Blues a few weeks ago? What about the time they went into San Jose, and handily beat the Sharks?
THE NUMBERS GAME
|Corsi Close %||53.1% (8th)||52.5% (9th)|
|5v5 GF/60||3.45 (1st)||2.59 (8th)|
|5v5 GA/60||1.83 (5th)||2.26 (17th)|
|PDO||104.2 (1st)||100.0 (15th)|
|5v4 GF/60||3.83 (26th)||3.15 (28th)|
|5v4 SF/60||58.6 (9th)||62.4 (4th)|
|4v5 GA/60||8.90 (27th)||3.45 (2nd)|
|4v5 SA/60||50.0 (13th)||47.8 (8th)|
GAME DAY LINKS
It’s an early Sunday afternoon, so there isn’t much to share, but..
- Tale of the Tape [via CDC]
- Canucks Game Day [via Ben Kuzma]
- Recap of last night’s loss to the Kings [via ME]
Quacking Kesler – You get 4.25-to-1 odds on Ryan Kesler scoring a goal in a Canucks win.
Swimming Along – If you feel lucky – or maybe better yet, a little reckless with your money – you can go for a home run with this 9-to-1 bet that the Canucks score a goal in all 3 periods, and win.
Be sure to sign up with the Canucks Army promo code "CANUCKSARMY" to receive $25 worth of free bets.