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Preview, Game Day #35: Los Angeles Kings @ Vancouver Canucks

Even for this division the Canucks are pretty much a joke.

rare footage of prolific goal scorer trevor lewis not scoring a goal
rare footage of prolific goal scorer trevor lewis not scoring a goal
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings @ Vancouver Canucks

Time: 7:00 Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West, Sportsnet Pacific

Enemy Reading: Nucks Misconduct

Los Angeles Kings

Lucic-Kopitar-Toffoli
Pearson-Shore-Gaborik
Lewis-Andreoff-Brown
Mersch-Weal-Nolan

McNabb-Doughty
Muzzin-Martinez
Forbort-McBain

Quick
(Enroth)

Scratched: Ehrhoff Injured: Carter, Clifford, King, Lewis, Greene

Vancouver Canucks

Sedin-Sedin-Hansen
Baertschi-Horvat-Vrbata
Kenins-McCann-Dorsett
Cracknell-Vey-Prust

Edler-Biega
Hutton-Weber
Bartkowski-Pedan

Markstrom
(Cannata)

Injured: Miller, Tanev, Sbisa, Hamhuis, Sutter

Stats & Such
(Fancy stats courtesy War on Ice)

Team Kings Canucks
Record 21-11-2 14-14-9
Points 44
37
Division Rank 1st
3rd
Streak Won 1
Won 2
Goals For/Game 2.59 2.51
Goals Against/Game 2.32
2.81
ES Goal % 49.5
49.6
ES Shot %
53.9 49.1
ES PDO 98.9
100.1
ES Corsi % 56.3
48.1
ES Fenwick % 55.8 48.9
ES Scoring Chance % 55.6 44.1
ES High-Danger SC % 52.8
44.6
Power Play % (Rank) 18.0 (19th)
16.9 (25th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 82.1 (9th)
79.7 (20th)
Starting Goalie (tonight) Quick Markstrom
Goalie Record 18-9-1 3-3-3
Save % .916 .924
ES Save % .928
.940

Notes:

  • The Kings are coming off a classic bit of "good news, bad news" on Saturday night in Arizona; the good news was they won a game after a stretch of 1 win in 5 (and that horrific pre-Christmas collapse against San Jose). The bad news is they lost their #2 center Jeff Carter to injury in the process, as he left the game soon after the opening face-off. Carts returned to Los Angeles so obviously he won't be in the lineup tonight. At least his injury was apparently not that serious because he's currently listed as day-to-day and may rejoin the team on the trip. And thank god for that, I mean look at those forward lines. Woof.
  • Jake Muzzin is another slight mystery because he received a match penalty for ass-based attack on Boyd Gordon (apparently doing his best Ryusuke Taguchi impression so he'll just be 'Funky Weapon' Jake Muzzin to me for the rest of his life), which comes with an automatic suspension attached pending review. Someone with the league told the LA Times that Muzzin will not be suspended and he thus should be eligible to play tonight, but no official word has come down as I write this.
  • Tonight's opponents are the Vancouver Canucks, whom regular readers of my Pacific Snapshots may know as "an enormous joke". Seriously, the Canucks are really quite bad: they have sub-mediocre puck possession numbers and have the dubious distinction of having the worst percentage of scoring chances in the league. Yeah, that's not good. If you're wondering what their issue is, they give up the most scoring chances against per 60 minutes of even strength ice time (28.9; only Ottawa's 28.6 is really close) and then only get the 26th most scoring chances per 60. That's not a good combination kids.
  • But because this is the NHL, somehow those numbers and losing 23 out of 37 games equals "a .500 record". Yep, with their nine loser points the Canucks have shuffled right into the 3rd playoff spot in the pathetic Pacific division, but they've got San Jose & Calgary both 1 point back with games-in-hand on them so they shouldn't get too comfy. They have won two in a row, though, which is pretty impressive considering they're actual trash and all.
  • A big reason for their recent success has been Jacob Markstrom, who has been a more-than-capable replacement for Ryan Miller since the starter went down to injury (his numbers are much better, in fact). As you can see above, his sparkling .940 even strength sv% basically tells the story. Even while due for some regression, Markstrom is at least a bright spot for the Canucks this season, after spending the past few years looking like the textbook definition of a bust.
  • I am sadly announcing the retirement of the Mega Man villain feature as we head into the new year. It was a fun gimmick to do for a while but it's become kind of a chore lately, to be quite honest with you. And zero dollars is not enough payment to do chores, y'know? Go start a Kickstarter and I'll write you a whole damn book on Mega Man villains and their relation to National Hockey League teams, but until then, RIP in peace wacky Mega Man feature.
  • PREDICTION: Kings win by forfeit when the Canucks tearfully admit what an enormous fraud they've been on the NHL for all these years. A solemn moment is had by all, before we immediately forget they ever existed.