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Game Day Preview #77, Los Angeles Kings @ Vancouver Canucks

The Kings wrap up their western Canada road trip tonight and hope to not have a repeat of the Edmonton game.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Los Angeles Kings Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

HOW TO WATCH

Game Time: 7:00 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports West
Radio: iHeart Radio
The Opposition: Nucks Misconduct

Be Nice To The New Kid On The Other Team

So, here’s the game plan: even though he’s technically the enemy tonight, everyone should just be super nice to Quinn Hughes when they’re on the ice with him. The 19-year old defenseman, drafted in the first round by the Canucks in 2018, will make his debut tonight, as he signed his ELC at the conclusion of his freshman season at the University of Michigan.

He’s also Jack Hughes’ older brother.

So, you know: be chill. Make Hughes think that the Kings are a good place to be, so that in the event the ping pong balls fall in the Kings’ favor, that he’ll be excited to be there.

Seems like a do-able task, right?

Right.

The Opposition

The Canucks are as inconsistent as ever this season; they’ve flirted with playoff spots but haven’t quite been able to stay there for long. They’re mostly out now, though. They’re not officially eliminated yet, but they’ll be there soon.

There have been flashes of what’s to come for the Canucks, though. Elias Pettersson, despite the fact that he looks like a tween who snuck into the Canucks’ locker room and never left, is electrifying and will provide entertainment for Canucks fans for years to come. Thatcher Demko is finally getting more NHL time and is showing flashes of why he is most likely the goalie of the future for the Canucks. Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser are both very good, the kind of players you need to surround someone like Pettersson with.

Sure, the rest of the team is largely a collection of headscratchers — did you know they had a Schenn? — but if they can figure out how to start offloading some dead weight and make room for more skill players to build out their forward corps, the Canucks could be quite the interesting team to keep an eye on in the future.

The Canucks are 4-5-1 over their last 10 games. Their only win against a playoff-bound team came against the Dallas Stars. They were just shut out 5-0 by the Columbus Blue Jackets, and on Tuesday lost a very back-and-forth game to the Anaheim Ducks, 5-4.

The Kings

This wraps up the last big road trip for the Kings; after this, they have three more games at Staples Center and two on the road, but just to Anahiem and Arizona, so no more big jaunts.

After an embarrassing outing against the Edmonton Oilers, where the Kings allowed five goals in the first period, and tried sort of-but not quite for a comeback, Jonathan Quick will get the chance to redeem himself in net. It’s been a rough season for him — when games go south, they often go south fast, and even if he’s on top of his game (he wasn’t on Tuesday), sometimes there’s just not much he can do.

The Kings will probably stick with the more traditional 12 forward/six defensemen lineup, but at this point, anything could happen. Stay tuned.

Lineup Notes

Quick, Watch This