Canucks Army GDT #36 – Canucks vs. Kings

After a short two-game road swing to close out 2014, the Vancouver Canucks are back at home to ring in the new year against the Los Angeles Kings. Los Angeles has struggled to gain traction on the road this season, but there’s a reason why they’re the defending Stanley Cup champions: they’re still really good and will run you out of the building if you’re not careful as Vancouver learned earlier in 2014-15.

The playoff race in the Pacific division is also as tight as ever with four teams within one point of one another. The Kings will overtake Vancouver, San Jose, and Calgary with a win tonight, so the Canucks should be extra motivated to put forth their best effort.

Read past the jump for a preview of tonight’s game.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

Jannik Hansen will skate on the second line with Derek Dorsett playing with Alex Burrows and Bo Horvat on line 4. Zack Kassian is healthy and cleared to play, but likely will not dress tonight. Ryan Miller will start in net.

Defensive Pairings
Jake Muzzin 
Jake Muzzin
Drew Doughty 
Drew Doughty
Alec Martinez 
Alec Martinez
Matt Greene 
Matt Greene
Brayden McNabb 
Brayden McNabb
Jamie McBain 
Jamie McBain

No word on any roster changes or starting goalies for Los Angeles. Expect Jonathan Quick to play.

Head to Head

G36 v LAK

Storylines

  1. No Zack Attack – After some controversy about whether he had been cleared to play on Tuesday, Zack Kassian has definitely been cleared to play this time around, but won’t dress against the Kings. Vancouver could use his size against an abrasive opponent like Los Angeles, but more importantly, they could use another good winger and Kassian is a good winger. Coupled with the recent trade rumours, it makes you speculate about Kassian’s standing with the organization.
  2. Back on Track – The Kings have put an uncharacteristically poor start in terms of puck possession behind them and once again become one of the NHL’s premiere teams in terms of Corsi%. They’re just 4-3-3 in their last 10 games, but 1-5 in the shootout, and have dragged themselves back into the playoff race. With a win tonight, they’ll move into second in the Pacific division.
  3. Road Woes – While the Kings have a dominant 14-4-2 record in Los Angeles, they’ve struggled on the road. Away from home, they’re just 4-8-6 with an even goal differential at 5-on-5. They’re still very dangerous though, as they have an NHL-best 54.2% Corsi on the road.

Game Day Reading

  • Larionov18

    I don’t get why Kassian isn’t playing vs a big team like the Kings? Vey hasn’t been terrible, but his play doesn’t stand out at all!

    With a couple of games in hand the Canucks, have a chance to get 5 out of 6 points against arguably the best teams the West has to offer. Considering how they got pushed around by Anahiem, one would think a bigger body would help? Only thing I can think of is they played well vs Sharks, so why not go with the same guys?
    Let’s start out 2015 a hell of a lot better than 2014 started!

  • WTF

    This is BS. How many years have the ‘Nucks attempted to “protect” a lead and failed miserably?

    And speaking of defensemen, Willie has got to sit Bieksa. The only thing consistent about his game is inconsistency.

  • So Ryan Stanton gets a penalty in the third holding on to someone because that is all he can do. The Kings score and Dejardians leaves him on the ice!!!!!!!!! Seconds later 3-2 Kings. Game over. This guy is terrible yet the coach loves him. I don’t get it. All night he was thrashing around in his own end. Arrgh. Terrible loss