Ok so it wasn’t your classic case of regicide when the Vancouver Canucks and Kings met on New Year’s Eve. The league’s superiors or royalty, if you will, were beat 4-1 by an LA team which had recently welcomed a new head coach into the fold.
In fact, the Kings still have only gone one game without securing a point with Sutter behind the bench.
That is pretty impressive and the crowned ones have crept up to 7th in the West and 2nd in the Pacific Division, only two points behind San Jose. Mind you, San Jose has four games in hand, but I digress.
Going into Tuesday night’s game the Canucks are 1-1-0 against LA winning 3-1 early in the season and as mentioned, losing 4-1 on New Year’s Eve.
Let’s take a look at some of the story lines heading into Game #47 of the regular season for both the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings.
It All Starts Between The Pipes
In one crease, there’s a widely renowned early Vezina candidate in Jon Quick. In 38 games played, he has a stellar GAA of 1.95 (10th) and a .933 SV% (10th).
Needless to say, his play has been very stingy and the Canucks will need a lot more than the 23 shots they had Sunday vs. Anaheim to win the game.
200 feet away will more than likely be Roberto Luongo. Although he did play in that NYE matchup, he was by far the Canucks best player Sunday, despite allowing four goals.
His performance reminded me a lot of Schneider’s in Minnesota when the Canucks were dominated by a score of 5-0. Tell me I’m wrong but Lu should get the start Tuesday if AV keeps with his method of playing who’s hot.
If only Lu could get more support than the Canucks flailing around like Magikarp. In his last 5 games played, he has 11 goals of support from his teammates in front of him. Simply…not good enough.
The AMEX Line
He was fast and had a couple of great rushes up ice; one of which Jonas Hiller made a great pad save on to prevent a goal that could have changed the pace of the game.
Anyhow, with Booth clearly being fully recovered from his knee strain, hopefully some more time together will allow Kes, Higgy and Booth to form some chemistry.
We all know they had limited success in the 19 games they played together prior to Booth being out but at the same time, Kes wasn’t himself then either.
I’m not too sure if you can read into this tweet from Booth too much but maybe since he didn’t actually know January is the saddest month or that Monday is also known as “Blue Monday,” he will be upbeat and more ready to lead his line mates into battle Tuesday.
The Finnish…Fragile One
Since being knocked out of the lineup in Boston, Sami Salo’s team is 2-2-0. Even then, those two victories came in a shootout and overtime.
Sure it is a small sample size (4 games) but Sami Salo really does bring something to the Canucks blueline. We all know that and frankly, if the Canucks were a team down in the basement, there would be many teams who’d love to take him on at the trade deadline, despite his fragility.
The Vancouver Canucks official twitter account (@vancanucks) tweeted Monday morning that everyone was at practice EXCEPT Salo. for obvious reasons. They later tweeted that Salo remains listed as day-to-day.
In Coach Vee’s post-practice presser, he had this to say, “You have to trust your players and know them. I know they’re aware of the situation.”
AV is referring to the fact the Canucks haven’t been playing their best hockey and yeah, I sure as hell hope the players are aware. They lost to a team with 22 fewer points than them Sunday.
The Canucks are favourites nearly every night and losing to a team like Anaheim at this juncture of the season is unacceptable.
Hanki hyvin Sami – Get well Sami.
A Rumbling Rumour
Sportsnet’s John Horn tweeted this early Monday
Just wow right?
This could be just what the Canucks are looking for heading into what looks like could be another deep playoff run.
This won’t have any bearing on the game Tuesday unless a trade went down early Tuesday morning, but even then, he probably wouldn’t play until Saturday vs. San Jose.
All that being said, the reaction seems to be positive and rightly so. Parros would add a dimension much needed on the Canucks; the enforcer.
Just to get your whistles wet, Parros has over 130 PIM’s the last 4 seasons, most of which we all know are from fighting; and fighting really well.
Parros is brute force we’ve all come to hate here in Vancouver but wouldn’t we just love to have him on our own team?
The bonus is that he isn’t a dummy. The Moustached one studied at Princeton University and was recently named the 4th smartest professional athlete by the Sporting News.
Methinks that could translate into hockey smarts.
But again, it’s all speculation; but time will tell.
BEST BET TO WIN: VANCOUVER
The team will be spurned on by the loss on Sunday. To boot, Ryan Kesler now has something to prove after a media fiasco where some media made it look like AV was strictly bad mouthing his 2nd line center.
Of course he wasn’t but RK17 coming out and reminding everyone exactly why he is the reigning Selke Champ is what I expect and nothing less.
LA should be afraid; very afraid.
Puck drop is at 7PM Pacific on the S-PAC.