Canucks Army GDT #15 – Canucks @ Ducks

Vancouver is in Orange County tonight to face the Anaheim ducks for the first time since the big trade in the Summer that sent Ryan Kesler to Anaheim for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, and Jared McCann. While this game won’t settle who won the trade, or anything in the grand scheme of an 82-game NHL season, a win tonight would go a long way to salvaging some of the goodwill lost with back-to-back poor efforts against San Jose and Los Angeles.

Standing in their way are the NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks, who, even without Corey Perry, will be a tough opponent on the second half of a back-to-back. Read past the jump for a preview.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 6:00 PM PST

TV: CITY TV

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Defensive Pairings
Alexander Edler 
Alexander Edler
Chris Tanev 
Chris Tanev
Ryan Stanton 
Ryan Stanton
Kevin Bieksa 
Kevin Bieksa
Dan Hamhuis 
Dan Hamhuis
Luca Sbisa 
Luca Sbisa

Derek Dorsett is doubtful for tonight. Radim Vrbata is also questionable due to a leg injury that has caused him to leave the last two games early. Nicklas Jensen and Brandon DeFazio have been recalled from Utica. Luca Sbisa also missed the end of last night’s game. Yannick Weber would take his place should he be unable to play. Ryan Miller is expected to start in goal.

Defensive Pairings
Hampus Lindholm 
Hampus Lindholm
Francois Beauchemin 
Francois Beauchemin
Cam Fowler 
Cam Fowler
Clayton Stoner 
Clayton Stoner
Bryan Allen 
Bryan Allen
Sami Vatanen 
Sami Vatanen

Corey Perry is expected to sit out with the flu, and Francois Beauchemin may also sit out with the sickness. Cam Fowler is listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury. Mat Clark and Shea Theodore have been recalled from Norfolk in case they are needed. Frederik Andersen is expected to start.

Preview

Before we get to the obvious storyline, we’ll take a look at how the Anaheim Ducks have played so far this season. All in all, they’re in quite a similar scenario to the Vancouver Canucks – a strong early record is masking their puck possession warts, but the reason why they’re winning games isn’t immediately apparent thanks to a largely normalized PDO. Both teams have unsustainably good records in 1-goal games though, and while tonight’s winner will be in possession of 1st place overall in the NHL, we can reasonably expect that both of these teams will fall out of the Presidents’ Trophy race soon enough.

Matt Beleskey, perhaps freed from the shackles of Nick Bonino, is leading Anaheim in raw Corsi%, while Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have been bizarrely ineffective at possessing the puck at 5v5. Still, Getzlaf and Perry are leading the Ducks in even strength points with 9 and 8 respectively. However, both trail Nick Bonino, who has 12 points at 5-on-5, and has been the NHL’s 6th most efficient scorer too.

But the main comparison being made isn’t between Bonino and Getzlaf, it’s between Bonino and Ryan Kesler. Kesler is the Ducks’ 3rd leading scorer with 10 points in 15 games, but just 3 of these points have come at even strength – a paltry sum compared to Bonino’s production. To Kesler’s credit though, he’s been Anaheim’s main defensive zone faceoff option, and one of the Ducks few positive possession forwards, and he’s also suffering through some awful shooting luck, as he’s seeing goals go in at just 1/3rd of the rate that Bonino has seen when he’s on the ice. It looks like a steal for Benning and Co. right now, but if Kesler doesn’t break down (as he usually does), it seems likely that he’ll catch Bonino in points sooner or later.

Kesler and Bonino will go head-to-head for the first time with their new teams tonight, and both will undoubtedly be excited to face their old squads. The way Kesler in particular left Vancouver gave many fans a bitter taste, and media rumblings seem to suggest that his ex-teammates didn’t feel too differently. This is a marquee game with a lot on the line for both teams, so if Vancouver can get over their second-half-of-a-back-to-back struggles, tonight should be fun.

  • Brent

    Lets just hope that they played so crappy in the second period last night because they were saving it up for tonight.

    Interested to know people’s thoughts on Lack vs Miller on this particular back to back., Miller did play 2/3rds of last nights game. I think Lack is due for some puck luck.

  • BlazingSaitls

    “The way Kesler in particular left Vancouver gave many fans a bitter taste, and media rumblings seem to suggest that his ex-teammates didn’t feel too differently.”

    ““That’s the problem with Vancouver. The media makes up a lot of stories that aren’t true. To be honest, I was really sick of certain media guys throwing people under the bus.”

    Too bad we can’t trade the media and keep our star players…

    • BlazingSaitls

      Welcome to the city that hates winning and loves monopolies and bike lanes paid for by other people built in other people’s backyards.

      Kesler just got fed up with broken promises and hype he couldn’t meet.

      #whywontsomejustjumpmayorrobertsonalready?

  • BlazingSaitls

    Ive taken a few digs at Canucks and Lack on here. Ill give credit when due. That was a good game by Lack. Stole it for you guys. Good for him to get off the schneid like that.