As part of a weird scheduling quirk, the Anaheim Ducks visit Vancouver for the second time in just 8 days. No, they’re not just here because they love yoga pants and rain; they’re here to play some hockey, and potentially fill out the paperwork to finally and mercifully euthanize the 2013-14 Canucks.
As you know by now the Vancouver Canucks need to win their final 4 games in order to have any sort of chance at a miracle playoff bid. In theory it’s not like the Ducks – who have been badly sputtering lately, highlighted by a 4-2 loss in Edmonton yesterday for the second time in 10 days – are some sort of insurmountable opponent.
But they’ve absolutely owned the Canucks this season, outscoring them by a 21-6 margin in winning all 4 meetings between the two teams. They most recently handed them a 5-1 defeat in that aforementioned game last Saturday.
Take your final breaths, and say your last words.
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST
TV: Sportsnet Pacific
There isn’t much lineup uncertainty with the Canucks at this point, except on that bottom defense pairing, as it remains unclear whether Yannick Weber will be able to return to the lineup after missing Saturday night’s game or not.
In his first game back up with the big boys since prior to the Olympics, Corrado actually didn’t look all that bad, finishing in the black in terms of possession (14-10, albeit in a sheltered role going up predominantly against LA’s 4th line).
Eddie Lack gets his 19th straight start, which ties the Vancouver record for most consecutive starts by a goalie, previously held by Corey Hirsch. Congratulations Eddie, you now share something in common with a guy who posted the following save %’s in a Canucks uniform: .903, .894, .890. Woo hoo! We might actually get to see Jacob Markstrom soon, which’ll be quite the revelation, mostly because it’ll prove that he really exists and isn’t just a figment of our collective imagination.
One final note:
— Taj (@taj1944) April 7, 2014
That tweet from Sestito to Kassian was sent last night, and was promptly deleted by the looks of it (it’s not appearing on Sestito’s timeline anymore). It’s in reference to the picture atop this post, from that meeting 8 days ago when Patrick Maroon sure seemed like he wanted no part for Crazy Kass.
The result was an awkward tussle in which Kassian wound up putting Maroon in some weird convoluted looking hold, that was quickly broken up. It was so weird that they didn’t even get 5 minute majors for their efforts. It’ll be interesting to see if anything bubbles up tonight, but it would behoove Kassian and the Canucks for him to stay out of the box considering how well he’s playing these days.
I kind of went in on the Anaheim Ducks in previewing the last meeting between these two teams. Their underlying data continues to be pedestrian at best, and they’ve been struggling against mediocre competition for the last little while here.
Yet despite all of that, they still remain 1 point up on the San Jose Sharks with 1 game in hand, which is monumental; if they’re able to take care of business in their final 4 games they’ll manage to avoid the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round, and give themselves a legitimate chance to see the 2nd round for the first time since ’08-’09.
They’re starting highly touted goaltending prospect John Gibson tonight, which’ll mark his first career start. That’ll probably boost their chances of winning given how questionable Jonas Hiller has been lately.
Also, this’ll be the last time Teemu Selanne comes to Vancouver, and despite not being listed in the lineup above, it appears that he’ll play (since he sat in the first of the back-to-back yesterday). He has 17 goals and 33 points in 27 career games at GM Place/Rogers Arena, and 91 career points against the Canucks. It’s kind of depressing watching what he has become, but what can you do. It can be tough saying goodbye sometimes.
And that, folks, is what we call coming full circle.
via Extra Skater:
|5v5 Corsi Close %||51.9% (T-9th)||50.0 (14th)|
|5v5 GF/60||2.14 (21st)||2.92 (1st)|
|5v5 GA/60||2.16 (13th)||2.11 (T-8th)|
|5v5 PDO||99.7 (T-17th)||102.2 (2nd)|
|5v4 GF/60||4.95 (27th)||5.54 (20th)|
|5v4 SF/60||58.4 (4th)||51.7 (T-12th)|
|4v5 GA/60||5.07 (6th)||6.56 (21st)|
|4v5 SA/60||39.4 (1st)||50.4 (T-17th)|