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Kings-Canucks Preview: Province of Persecution

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Since we last rang in the New Year with the Vancouver Canucks...

IN: David Booth returned from his knee injury.

OUT: Andrew Ebbett (collarbone), Sami Salo (concussion). Salo is a great guy with terrible luck. Why, hockey gods? Is he your version of Job?

Possible Canucks Lineup:

D. Sedin-H. Sedin-Burrows
Higgins-Kesler-Booth
Hansen-Hodgson-Raymond
Malhotra-Lapierre-Weise

Hamhuis-Bieksa
Rome-Edler
Alberts-Ballard

Luongo

Kings Lineup:

Brown-Kopitar-Williams
Penner-Richards-Stoll
Richardson-Loktionov-Lewis
Clifford-Fraser-Hunter

Scuderi-Doughty
Mitchell-Voynov
Johnson-Greene

Quick*

*But it's not baseball

Game Outlook: According to the fair, august, and in no way hysterical writers at The Province, no one should be able to beat the Canucks. If they do, it's because the other teams are bullies (the Canucks are boy scouts, you see), or benefiting from a conspiracy, or because the Canucks themselves just decided to take a day off.

This conspiracy is probably going to see the Canucks win their division again. They've even managed to beat teams in southern markets in the postseason. Bettman! How could you allow this? What kind of conspiracy are you running! Oh, I get it. It's subtle. They allow that just to throw us off the scent.

Nevermind, Gary. You're a genius.

In reality, this should have the makings of a spirited contest. Possession-wise, the Canucks are slightly better on the whole when the score is close (they are particularly better when down by 1-2 goals). The Kings are a smidge better when the score is tied. That's my nerd way of saying the Kings are hanging with some good company.

All that matters: points, points, points.