Canucks Army GDT #46 – Canucks vs Ducks

The All-Star break is officially over, and the Vancouver Canucks will be back in action tonight to face Ryan Kesler and the NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks, kicking off a six-game home stand. The visitors from Orange County come in red hot, having won five games in a row, and have owned the Canucks of late, going 8-1-1 against their Pacific division rivals.

All three games between these two teams this season have gone to overtime though, so it’s been a tightly contested series. The Canucks hope that continues tonight, as they look to distance themselves from the 4th and 5th place Flames and Kings in the Pacific.

Read past the jump for a preview.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

Defensive Pairings
Alexander Edler 
Alexander Edler
Chris Tanev 
Chris Tanev
Dan Hamhuis 
Dan Hamhuis
Yannick Weber 
Yannick Weber
Luca Sbisa 
Luca Sbisa
Frank Corrado 
Frank Corrado

Brad Richardson is questionable with a lower body injury. Linden Vey will take his place if he can’t play. Zack Kassian joins Nick Bonino and Shawn Matthias on line 2. Kevin Bieksa is out long-term after undergoing surgery on his hand. Ryan Miller will start in net.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Defensive Pairings
Cam Fowler 
Cam Fowler
Ben Lovejoy 
Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm 
Hampus Lindholm
Francois Beauchemin 
Francois Beauchemin
Clayton Stoner 
Clayton Stoner
Sami Vatanen 
Sami Vatanen

Frederik Andersen will start in net for the Ducks.

Head to Head

G46 v ANA

Storylines

  • Just Win, Baby – The Anaheim Ducks come in to Vancouver sitting atop the NHL standings with 31 wins, having won 8 of their last 10 games, beating Vancouver 8 of the last 10 times these two teams met, on a league high 5-game winning streak, and leading the league with an astounding 22 wins in one-goal games. They also possess the best goal differential in the Pacific division, and have to be front runners for the President’s trophy despite average-ish underlying numbers. They are playing pretty dominant hockey of late however, so Vancouver will be hard pressed to start their six-game home stand off with a win.
  • The Big Break – With Kevin Bieksa out 6-8 weeks with a hand injury, Frank Corrado will get an excellent chance to solidify himself as an NHL player in the coming months. He’ll play on the 3rd pairing tonight with Luca Sbisa, while Yannick Weber skates in the top-4 with Dan Hamhuis. Corrado will get the first really extended look in the NHL in his young career, but if he can’t fill in adequately, Alex Biega and Bobby Sanguinetti are waiting in Utica for an NHL shot.
  • Stretch Drive – Including tonight, the Canucks have 37 games remaining on their schedule. So far, they’ve accumulated 55 points, putting them 3rd in the Pacific division. The Calgary Flames have yet to fall off as they sit fourth, however the L.A. Kings, who are currently 5th in the division, are due for some improvement. The Dallas Stars, who are six points behind Vancouver, are also a threat to take a crossover spot should all the Pacific teams flounder down the stretch. If Vancouver wants to make the playoffs, it’s imperative that they take advantage of favourable scheduling circumstances, like this upcoming six-game homestand.

Gameday Reading

Advertisement - Continue Commenting Below