So the preseason hasn't gone exactly as we would have liked it to. We can make all the excuses we want. For example: It's preseason, no one good is trying; Carlyle wants to see how the bubble players react; the team is split up; Jonas Hiller hasn't played yet, etc. Obviously Carlyle has taken Robby's advice and bookmarked this website. Tonight is the first game that the entire band will be back together (for the most part).
Per the Ducks gameday preview, Jonas Hiller is likely to get his first start in net since February of last year. When I was editing Robby's post yesterday, I had to take out a good point he made on Hiller because he wasn't starting. Robby said something to the effect off, it's smart to start Hiller on the road. That way all the home fans aren't continuously focused on his every move and simultaneously flinching each time he does. Good point, right? I think so. I know if I were watching this game at Ponda, I would be obsessed with watching Hiller all the time, even if the puck was in the opposite end of the ice. Luckily for all of us, the Canucks are starting an extremely watered down lineup. No Sedins, Luongo, Kessler (injury), and Bieksa. This should be a good confidence booster for Hiller, should his teammates show up to help him out.
And oh those teammates. As I said earlier, this is the first time we'll see the lineup similar to what we're used to in the regular season. I have to believe that with Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu playing behind Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, and Corey Perry, RPG will step up their game. Teemu makes everyone around him better. He didn't come back for another season to see them play like this - preseason or not.
Speaking of SEEING, the game will be televised on the CBC and NHL Network US. It's going to be the Canadian feed, so expect a lot of Ducks bashing. I've watched this feed a few times, and the announcers make it sound like the San Quentin Deathrow Ducks playing the Catholic school girls of St. Vancouver of the Poor. If we are deathrow inmates, then let our last meal will be killer whale.