Season Series Record, Ducks vs. Canucks: 1-1-0
KNOW THY ENEMY
Record (Points): 26-13-7 = 59 points
Place in Northwest Division: 1st, Clinched
Place in Western Conference: 3rd, Clinched
Who's Hot? In the Canucks' last five games (3-1-1) they've spread the offense around with nine different goal scorers, three of whom (Alexander Edler, Derek Roy and Ryan Kesler) had multiple goals. All season injuries to the second line (Kesler and David Booth in particular) have been a concern, but since acquiring Roy at the trade deadline from Dallas and subsequently moving Kesler to the wing that line (with Chris Higgins on the other wing) seems to have become a strength for this team once again.
Who's Not? One thing we always need to talk about with Vancouver is the goaltending. Cory Schneider has become the number one goalie without question, however he is out tonight with, what head coach Alain Vigneault is calling, a "Body Injury," sustained in their 3-1 victory over Chicago on Monday. Roberto Luongo has only appeared in five of the Canucks' last 20 games. In those five games he went 2-2-0 (one no decision in relief of Schneider) with rather pedestrian 2.6 Goals Aagainst Average and .904 Save Percentage.
Numbers for Nerds: In the last ten games between Vancouver and Anaheim, the teams have combined for an average of SEVEN goals per game.
Enemy Dossier: For more weird facts and numbers like that, see Nucks Misconduct's preview
Yesterday, Derek wrote a post questioning whether the dramatic turnaround we saw from the Ducks in Edmonton for the last two games was legitimate or a factor of playing the turnover happy Edmonton OIlers. His conclusion was that it was a little bit of both, but we'll really find out tonight when the Ducks take on a real challenge in the Northwest Division Champion Vancouver Canucks.
However, Bruce Boudreau has apparently decided that despite what the Bluths think, the most important thing is neither breakfast nor family. It's staying healthy for the playoffs and as such he will be resting a significant number of regular roster players.
Pretty much a preseason-type lineup for Ducks tonight. BB said no Getzlaf, Koivu, Selanne or Allen. Souray will be back in.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) April 25, 2013
And as reported yesterday, Bobby Ryan (flu) is back in OC. Luca Sbisa (lower body) still not ready.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) April 25, 2013
So..... yeah, maybe don't put too much stock into how these Ducks play tonight.
Yesterday, Anaheim called up Devante Smith-Pelly, Patrick Maroon and Goaltender Frederik Andersen from Norfolk, and sent Igor Bobkov back down after the Ads' season came to an end with a thud over the weekend. Maroon finished the season in the AHL with 20 points in his last 19 games and after a very disappointing start to the season in Norfolk DSP doubled his season point total over the course of the last two months.
An infusion of young blood coming in from Junior and College seemed to give Norfolk a boost down the stretch (not enough, but still) hopefully the Ducks can see a little bit of that tonight as well.
Finally, it's Hiller in the pipes:
Jonas Hiller will indeed start in goal as Boudreau had said a couple of days ago.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) April 25, 2013
With such a depleted lineup in front of him, even if it's not quite as impactful on the defense, Hiller will have a good chance to make a case for the starting job going into the post season with a solid performance against a full strength Canucks side, tonight.