The Vancouver Canucks California swing continues Saturday night vs the Los Angeles Kings. The Canucks have been early season road warriors, compiling a 7-2-2 record away from the friendly confines of Rogers Arena. There are no freebies in the Pacific Division! The Kings offer up another tough test for the Canucks, but I have a feeling the Canucks are fully up for it.
The Canucks thoroughly dominated the San Jose Sharks in a convincing 4-2 victory. The Sharks suffered their first home ice regulation loss of the season in a game that featured an aggressive Canucks attack that San Jose had no answer for. The Canucks won despite having their top line of the Henrik and Daniel Sedin with Ryan Kesler shut down. Once again, the Canucks came back after letting a goal in on the first shot of the game. This one was a bizarre one! You gotta love Luongo’s sense of humour:
The Los Angeles Kings
The Kings are coming off of a 2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres, but have started this season slow. The Kings currently sit 5th in the unbelievably tough Pacific Division and have had a tough time scoring 5-on-5 this season. Nevertheless, the Canucks have had trouble with the Kings for a few years now and have historically had a tough time beating Jonathan Quick with any regularity.
Based on practice, it appears John Tortorella will keep the same lines from the San Jose Sharks win. Here’s how they’ll look (Update: it sounds like Daniel Sedin might have an injury that will keep him out of the lineup. If Daniel is out, look for Kassian to get promoted to the first line and Weber to get back into the lineup):
D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Kesler
Higgins – Santorelli – Burrows
Archibald – Richardson - Kassian
Sestito – Welsh – Dalpe
Garrison – Edler
Hamhuis – Tanev
Stanton – Bieksa
The pretend Larscheid report…
1. Score Early
Yes, this is a copy and paste! The Canucks showed resiliency against the Sharks coming back from a bizarre Sharks goal on the first shot of the game, but this just cannot continue.
2. Rush Quick
Jonathan Quick has been stellar vs the Canucks. The Canucks need to have multiple bodies in front of the net and score rebound goals in much the same fashion as they did vs the Sharks in order to get the W in this one.
3. Score on the PP!
The Canucks power play has shown some signs of life of late and a breakout with the extra man would be a welcome sign vs the Kings.
I love the way the Canucks are playing right now and I believe opponents are having trouble adjusting to the Canucks new, aggressive style of play. The Kings will have no response to the Canucks 5-on-5 and the Canucks will chip in with a few power play goals as well. The Canucks take this one 5-2 in a cakewalk.
Follow Ian Lusher on Twitter at @IanLusher