CANUCKS ARMY GDT# 36 – CANUCKS VS. KINGS

kings

The Christmas break is over and your Vancouver Canucks welcome their good buddies, the Los Angeles Kings, to Rogers Arena. The Kings beat the Canucks in a shootout back in October and a lot has changed since then. Well, not really. 

There are injuries yet again to key Canucks players and the talk will lean towards who the Sedins will be playing with for the next month or so; might be a good time to put Loui Eriksson back there?

I sure hope Santa brought Willie Desjardins some sense to ice better line combinations because I felt like a lump of coal was coming before the break.

Let’s play some hockey!

BROADCAST INFO

TV: SNET-P

RADIO: TSN 1040

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINE COMBOS

So, as you’ve heard, Jannik Hansen is out for 4-6 weeks with a knee injury he sustained against the Jets. It was good while it lasted I suppose. The defence has a bit of a new look, Alex Edler and Troy Stecher, Luca Sbisa and Chris Tanev followed by Nikita Tryamkin and Ben Hutton. These most likely are your pairings for tonight.

It’s early but unless he ISN’T the number one anymore, Ryan Miller will start this evening.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

Defensive Pairings
Ben Hutton 
Ben Hutton
Chris Tanev 
Chris Tanev
Luca Sbisa 
Luca Sbisa
Troy Stecher 
Troy Stecher
Nikita Tryamkin 
Nikita Tryamkin
Alex Biega 
Alex Biega

Well, Tyler Toffoli isn’t playings so right there that makes everyone’s day. Some new line combinations have graced the Kings lineup with Anze Kopitar, Marion Gaborik and almost Canuck Dustin Brown getting top billing.

Peter Budaj should get the start.

Los Angeles Kings lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

Defensive Pairings
Derek Forbort 
Derek Forbort
Drew Doughty 
Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin 
Jake Muzzin
Alec Martinez 
Alec Martinez
Kevin Gravel 
Kevin Gravel
Matt Greene 
Matt Greene

GAME NOTES, STATS AND OTHER INTERESTING INFO

  • 35 games in, the Sedins still lead the Canucks in points. Bo Horvat is one back at 21 and for all the hate we spew at Brandon Sutter, he’s right at their heels as well with 18. It’s a sad sack bunch but it could be worse, it really could be.
  • Nikita Tryamkin scored his first of the season against the Flames and I don’t know if he’ll be given another opportunity to do it again. If anyone from Canucks Army, say, Jeff Paterson, were able to get a full sit down with him, maybe we could ask why. The language barrier has to be frustrating but the language of hockey can do plenty of talking. He’s getting better and with some fine tuning, could be a great player.
  • Jack Skille had a nice little run there but has fizzled in his last 5 games. With only an assist coming in the Calgary game he has gone back to obscurity. He did make this team on a PTO so this shouldn’t be a big deal. The flip side to this is that the Canucks are terrible and I’m writing about how Jack Skille needs to step up. Uh, ya, how about the other 3 lines ahead of him first?
  • Troy Stecher has the 3rd most registered shots on the team as of today. Daniel Sedin leads the team with 93 and Brandon Sutter has 77. Pretty amazing the rookie has made this team his own. Troy Stecher is on the road to stardom and it’s funny, but I still don’t think he has received enough credit. With Stecher out, this Canucks team will crumble a lot quicker.
  • Vancouver is 7 points back of LA for the final playoff spot. I say this because they are stubborn enough to fight for that chance. It’s not exactly the biggest game of the season but 2 points now will help them get blown out in the first round. That might have been the most cryptic backhanded compliment. 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Oh joy, the Canucks get the first exclusive look…

MY TAKE

A Canucks/Kings matchup has the potential for fireworks but it could also end up being a real dud. With Hansen gone for awhile, the Canucks really need to address the top line as well as how Eriksson will get to 20 goals (let’s forget 30). Canucks win this one but it won’t be pretty.

ARE THE CANUCKS CAPABLE OF ANOTHER 4-1 GAME?

I think the worst is over in that regard, but don’t count them out yet. I suppose Vancouver is due for a 4 goal game so who knows?

  • Jabs

    “I sure hope Santa brought Willie Desjardins some sense to ice better line combinations because I felt like a lump of coal was coming before the break”.

    Ahh Willie, last game he completely let the team off the hook by saying “they looked tired”. I hope he doesn’t have an entire playbook of these simpleton excuses. What’s next if they look bad tonight? “They were full”, or is it “It’s hard to play between the holidays” or “Santa brought their wives some hot nighties……”

    I hope we see some legitimate effort tonight and the team shows up prepared to play.

  • tyhee

    I know that the Daily Faceoff is part of the nation network and that others have pointed out issues with their lineups before, but it really is disconcerting to read Hansen is out 4-6 weeks and immediately below see him on the 1st line. I’d much rather see the expected real lineups, or at least something possible as opposed to a lineup we know can’t possibly happen for this game.

  • TheRealRusty

    The bigger question is why Canuck players are reaggravating their injuries at an alarming pace? Is there an organizational push or pressure by team medical staff to get players back into the lineup before they are ready for the misguided sense of making the playoffs ? Tanev, Rodin, Hansen just to name a few….

    • Whackanuck

      Why is this being trashed?
      Injuries were an excuse given by some last year, get again this year The Canucks have been among league leaders in players out with 6 to 7 starters simultaneously. Just Canuck luck?

    • DJ_44

      The reason why I trashed it because it shows little appreciation for nature of the injuries and the term “reaggrevation” is at best erroneous, and at worst intentionally misleading.

      Hansen was out for a broken rib. He was then the victim of a late, knee on knee hit and is out with a knee injury. How is this reaggrevation?

      Rodin had a severed tendon (let just say not your typical knee injury). After playing preseason, it was recognized that the leg was not strong enough, resulting in the tendon flaring up. They went with a two month strengthening program and now he has returned.

      I am not completely familiar with Tanev’s injury, however I thought it was a high ankle sprain, a nototoriously tough injury that usually required six weeks to recover. I think Tanev was out for like seven weeks.

      So…….exactly what player has been “rushed” back from injury??

  • Roy

    Injuries are common in hockey. The issue is not injury but depth. We only have one fast scoring winger who produces with the Sedins right now. Think of it like dropping your favorite suit off at the cleaners. It is predictable from time to time and if you don’t have a closet full of backups you show up looking like it is 2004.

    That metaphor might be a bit too apt.