When the Ducks played Vancouver last Saturday, you could hardly consider the team they faced to be the Canucks. With almost no projected starters suited up for Vancouver (and Anaheim fielding several starters), Anaheim cruised to their first victory of the pre-season, a 4-1 effort that saw goals from Cam Fowler, Corey Perry, Saku Koivu, and Andrew Gordon. Jonas Hiller also pitched in two shutout periods in what has been his only work of the pre-season.
Things will be slightly different tonight. The Canucks have already indicated they will be playing Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Roberto Luongo, Dan Hamhuis, and Mikael Samuelsson, among others. While the Ducks haven't announced their starting line-up yet, it's a safe bet that the Ducks will be playing a majority of their starting players as well. This makes tonight's game especially interesting, as it will be the first time we get a glimpse of what a regular season match-up for the Ducks might look like.
In the previous game, Mike Duco set his sights on Ryan Getzlaf and Jean-Francois Jacques responded in-kind, earning an instigator penalty and game misconduct. And while Jacques received a five-game suspension for his actions, there may be some lingering discontent between the two teams. Could there be some fisticuffs tonight? Who knows. At least we'll be able to watch on NHL Network.
In the what to watch for category, I'll be paying particular attention to the composition of the third and fourth lines, as well as the performance of whoever gets the start for the Ducks. Other than that, it will just be nice to see a more NHL-caliber game for a chance.