Pregame: Anaheim Ducks @ Vancouver Canucks

Posted: 04/25/2013 by bc in Uncategorized

Update: Via Icemancometh Tweet

Pretty much a preseason-type lineup for Ducks tonight. BB said no Getzlaf, Koivu, Selanne or Allen. Souray will be back in.

Radek Dvorak one game short of 1200 in his NHL is a healthy scratch tonight. Gabby told him not to get in a car accident, suggesting he’ll play Saturday.

This game is meaningless as far as the playoff seeding and final standings are concerned. Given what Gabby said in his radio interview, discussed here yesterday, our Ducks might not be motivated. This may be exactly what the head office was thinking when it decided to inject some energy onto the roster by recalling Patrick Maroon, Devante Smith-Pelly and Admirals goaltender Frederik Andersen.

Bobby Ryan is back in OC with the flu. Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu may sit this one out. Maroon and Smith-Pelly will likely take depth line spots while Matthew Lombardi gets in a game for the resting Koivu.

On the back line, Sheldon Souray who missed two games with a lower body injury is expected to play. Luca Sbisa out 4 games with an lower body is will not play.

Canucks are bringing their ‘A’ roster. “I liked the way our lines looked last game,” explained Canuck head coach Alain Vigneault following practice Wednesday. Ryan Kesler will remain on right-wing with Derek Roy and Chris Higgins while former Duck for a day Max Lapierre centres the new-look third unit between Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen. Lumbering left winger Tom Sestito will remain in the lineup alongside Andrew Ebbett and Zack Kassian and the Sedins will be with usual pal Alex Burrows.

The ‘Nucks blue line remain banged with Kevin Bieksa and Keith Ballard upgraded to day-to-day. Alex Edler will be paired with felt green rookie Frank Corrado. Derek Joslin brings his 114 NHL game experience onto the third pairing in place of Cam Barker. Dan Hamhuis and Jason Garrison form the ever dangerous top pair.

Despite being shutout 5-0 by Vancouver in their last meeting, Ducks and Canucks usually play high scoring games. I don’t know why. They just do.

This game is the rubber match of the 3 game season series. Our Ducks took the first tilt 7-3. Bragging rights have some value, especially if they meet up again in the second season.

Keys to the Game:

When we don’t have the puck, Ducks must get on the Vancouver to prevent them getting plays started. Plan B is stop them in the neutral zone. Arrive at those loose pucks with attitude and be prepared to compete.

The quickest route to the opposition net is a straight line. Continue to keep the attack mixed between powering our way into Loungo’s kitchen or chip and chase our way in. Ducks are nicely balanced between flash and dash and bash and smash hockey. So long as we’re skating we can keep any team off-balance.

With contributions from Eliot Pap, Vancouver Sun.

Notes: The Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) has nominated Andrew Cogliano for the 2013 Bill Masterton Trophy. The Masterton is presented annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

  1. czhokej says:

    Unfortunately I was there at the ring for the 5-0 beating. I hope we will play a physical game against the Sedins. Even though it’s not a crucial game for either team, I expect a good hockey.
    It will be interesting to see DSP and Maroon again.

    • bc says:

      Depends what we call good hockey cz 🙂 These teams tend to play pond hockey when they hook up. Yeah, a scrappy, low scoring affair resulting in a Ducks win would ease my pre-playoff jitters some.
      Hope Souray is back. He and Beauch will likely draw the Sedins. I wouldn’t expect Burrows to be his usual antagonistic self if he has to contend with Souray.

  2. bilverado says:

    Neither team has anything to play for. One team appears to be viewing this as a tune-up for the playoffs, and the other an opportunity to rest some key players. Guess we’ll see who’s strategy pays off down the road.

  3. yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

    Perhaps the rest is aka nursing an injury or illness? Otherwise I am not in favor of resting anyone on the eve of the playoffs…Hope this does not send the wrong message to the players suiting up tonight (you can rest and you cannot)…This may backfire…we may get caught with our pants down.

  4. bc says:

    Dr. Boudreau’s diagnosis that the slump was caused because some players lacked motivation due to our fixed place in the Standings. The call ups should inject some energy and enthusiasm into the lineup.
    Jeez though, no Getzlaf, Selanne, Koivu or Allen. That’s 1/3 of our top nine. Good thing it’s only Vancouver 😉

    Some things worth watching include:
    Will Vatanen be effective without the protective presence of Bryan Allen?
    How ready is Bonino to assume a larger role?
    Is this the game Emerson Etem explodes with his first multi-goal game?
    Will Antoine Laganiere make his NHL debut?

  5. bilverado says:

    I thought Vatanen played well and really liking Sami and Fowler on the PP. Bonino continues to impress. May be to our advantage that he’s coming back relatively rested after missing so many games. There’s an energy there that’s been lacking.Not sure Etem was in a postion to do anything but play 4th line, but he continues to impress. Maybe Saturday on Laganiere?

    • bc says:

      Hazy mentioned Coach is likely to go with ‘A’ lineup Saturday. Dvorak needs one game to reach 1200 so he’ll likely play.
      ES, Sami skated alongside Sheldon Souray and didn’t look out of place. He has, what is described as a ‘good stick’ meaning he uses his stick well in all phases getting it into passing lanes, poke checking and puck handling.
      bilverado, have you seen a penalty for snow shower called before? Jeez, eh. That’s a real weinie type call. I couldn’t believe they even put it in the rule book, but they did apparently.

  6. bilverado says:

    Never seen a call like that. Would love to hear an explanation from the ref on that one. Some games that could be called 8-10 times if that is indeed a penalty. Laughable.

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