Canucks Army GDT #26 – Kings @ Canucks

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

Radio: Team1040


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..

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.


  Kings Canucks
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)
  Kings Canucks
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)
Penalty Differential -1 -5

Data comes from Extra Skater and


  • 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.

Don’t forget to sign up for Streakcred

  • Brent

    I can understand why Kassian may be benched, talk about a lot of bone headed defensive plays. The only thing that saved him from being benched for a lot of time against Columbus was his lucky goal. Really don’t know what his problem is, he has skills, he has size, he just needs some consistency. But is he worse than Sestito who I assume will be playing, probably not. Seems like a strange coaching decision. Maybe Sestito rescues dogs?

  • Brent

    Not surprisingly, this management team once again privileges the here and now as opposed to the youth movement thought to be an integral part of the reset…

  • Brent

    Agree with first two comments. The Canucks are a middle-of-the-road squad and I can’t see that changing without material revisions to the line-up.

    It seems like trades are tough to pull off, so why not play the heck out of your young guys to kick start those significant changes?

    As a die-hard fan since the dark days of Mark Messier, I am very supportive of dismantling this team and building it up again with a new core.

    • Brent

      Which young players?

      Something tells me you don’t want to see Kassian, Schroeder, Jensen, Mallet & Grenier in prominent roles.

      Gillis & Tortorella aren’t going to risk their jobs on the high variance inherent with most young players.

      Expect to see this team battle for the playoffs with a veteran core for the next 2 or 3 years until the organization accepts its fate…

        • Brent

          The only way you’re going to see Kassian-Schroeder-Jensen together is if you travel to Utica.

          Veteran bandaids on top of organizational bulletholes continues to be the modus operandi…

          • Brent

            Unless I don’t know enough about contracts, I think Kassian would have to clear waivers to make it to Utica. And I am sure that someone would claim him, maybe even Buffalo. Unless he goes down on a 2 week “conditioning” stint.

  • Brent

    This canucks team is not making the playoffs, period. Time to play our youth as much as possible, that being Zack Kassian. Canucks need to start thinking about the trade deadline, I know it’s months ahead, but this is our year to be a seller..let’s hope management can convince some of the “no trades” to waive and let us get on with a rebuild. Signing the twins for long term was a huge mistake, should have been two years.

  • Brent

    I know it’s not going to happen. Feasible we’ll have three young forwards up next year though, – between Horvat, Kassian, Shinkaruk, Jensen, Gaunce and Schroeder.

    Corrado coming up would be big – allows everyone to play their strong side. People never seem to account for that when critisizing Garrison these days.

    • There’s little reason to believe any of those 6 forwards (aside from possibly Kassian) will be legit NHL regulars next year.

      Kassian, Schroeder & Jensen have all been underwhelming to be kind.

      As for the three CHL guys, this management team has never given players that young an opportunity to be an NHL regular.

      And where are all of these guys going to play?

      The team has enough complimentary forwards on multiyear deals (Burrows, Booth, Higgins, Hansen) and may add another in Santorelli…

      • Kassian and Schroeder will be there or be gone. If Horvat maintains his level, he’ll be up. We haven’t had a pick that high for years, so he shouldn’t be judged by our recent record. Kassian and Horvat are goods bets. Not a stretch to think just one of Shinkaruk, Gaunce, Jensen or Schroeder will be up too.

        There’s definitely room on the 3rd line. Booth will be bought out if he’s not useful. As for Santorelli, how often are the Canucks’ top nine all healthy?

        • So Gillis is going to give away Kassian & Schroeder just like he did with Grabner, Hodgson and the 2010 1st rounder?

          Something tells me Kassian is here for a while even though he’s evolving into Steve Bernier…

          Hodgson was arguably a better prospect than Horvat and he didn’t become a regular until he was 21.

          And that was only to “showcase” him.

          Grabner didn’t get a sniff until he was 22.

          And that was only to “showcase” him.

          Tanev didn’t become an NHL regular until he was 23.

          Schneider didn’t became a full-time NHLer until he was 24 even though he arguably deserved a shot one year earlier.

          Schroeder didn’t become a replacement player until 22.

          Those are the graduates of the last 6 years.

          There’s zero evidence that management is willing to put multiple 19 and 20 year olds in the lineup…

          • He won’t give away Kassian, because he cost us Hodgson.

            Hodgson is the only valid comparison to Horvat and even then, Horvat was taken earlier in a deeper draft. Horvat isn’t a liability defensively, so that should help him early on. Canucks do like to overcook their prospects, but it’s been a while since we had players of this quality in the pool.

            If Kassian and Schroeder stay in the line up, only one 19/20 year old needs to make it. Jensen will be 21 next year too.

          • So if you acknowledge Kassian (probably) won’t be given away, then you probably also acknowledge that he will have a roster spot (one would think in the top 9 but who knows).

            So that’s another complimentary player on a team that has an abundance of this currency…

            Just because the Canucks selected Horvat at #9 does not make him a better prospect than Hodgson.

            Jensen probably needs to perform at the AHL level before he gets a sniff in the NHL.

            It’s entirely possible the only one of those 6 forwards on the NHL roster next year is Kassian and in a limited role.

            Heck, it might be the most realistic outcome…