Originally posted on Rob The Hockey Guy  |  Last updated 1/3/14
Image Courtesy: nhl.canucks.com The Vancouver Canucks play the Los Angeles Kings in an important Saturday night 7:00pm PST game at the Staples Center. Both teams are fully aware how close the standings are in the Pacific Division and, frankly, both teams hate each other. What more can you ask for? As the great Casey Printers once said, “kids, get your popcorn ready. Get your chips and cakes ready…” Image Courtesy: blogs.vancouversun.com Last Game The Canucks played perhaps their worst games of the season in a 4-2 loss vs the Tampa Bay Lightning. Many have pointed out that the Higgins-Kesler-Santorelli line had a dismal game, but the real story is how unbelievably pathetic the Canucks power play continues to be. Against the Lightning the Canucks power play was nothing more than a momentum killer for the home team. As John Tortorella said many times after the game, this game “is in the garbage.” Time to move on. The Los Angeles Kings The Kings are coming off of a 5-0 **** kicking at the hands of the St. Louis Blues and have lost 5 straight games. Apparently there are other good teams in the NHL that go through slumps, who knew? The Kings main issue in their last 5 games has been an uncanny inability to score goals. The Kings rely on great goaltending (which they seem to get no matter who they throw in) and a tight defensive system to win. Of late the Kings can’t seem to score more than a goal per game and winning regularly 1-0 is pretty much an impossibility. Canucks Lines The Canucks will be icing the same lineup they did vs the Lightning. The Canucks currently have no extra players on their roster. The lines shape up like this: D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Hansen Higgins – Kesler – Santorelli Kassian – Richardson - Booth Sestito – Dalpe – Weise Hamhuis – Tanev Corrado – Bieksa Garrison – Weber Luongo The pretend Larscheid report… 1. Get The Power Play Going! Evidently John Tortorella got the memo on this one. The Canucks were practicing their power play using Chris Higgins as the man in front of the net with Jason Garrison and Ryan Kesler at the points. I’m surprised Tortorella has been this patient with the power play (currently ranked 26th in the NHL). There is just no way a power play with this much offensive talent should be so dismal. 2. Captain Jerkpuck Dustin Brown is a complete annoyance on the ice and has been called the  “King of the Jerks”. Brown has notoriously gotten under the Canucks skin and has added more than his fair share of offensive production vs the Canucks over the years. The Canucks would best to focus on their own game and ignore Captain *******! 3. Stewing Sutter Darryl Sutter is not a happy man these days. OK, he is never happy, but he is really unhappy these days. He is a powder keg ready to blow and the Canucks would be well advised to get on the Kings early so as to stir up Sutter. It is well know that Sutter can be hard to play for and I am not completely convinced that the Kings aren’t getting sick of him. Get the Kings down early, have Sutter make his usual “my armpits stink” face, and cruise to an easy win. Image Courtesy: blog.schnarped.com Prediction The Canucks are coming off a complete stinker and the Kings are come off a complete disaster. I believe the Kings slump continues, but this will be a very close, hotly contested affair. The Canucks win 3-2. The www.robthehockeyguy.com predictions season record is currently at 24-18. Interesting to note that I rarely predict a Canuck loss. Makes sense as they win almost twice as much as they lose (this is a little dig at those who have the bizarre belief that the Canucks are just a mediocre team). Follow Ian Lusher on Twitter at @IanLusher The post Canucks vs Kings Game Preview – January 4, 2014 appeared first on Rob The Hockey Guy.
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