GAME DAY NOTES
Tonight the Canucks try to make it four straight wins for the first time this season when they host the struggling Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks, while they’ve continue to pick up points coming off a 3-1 win Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, still sit outside of a playoff spot at one game below .500 (12-13-7) and seven points back of Vancouver.
“They’re a good hockey team,” said defencemen Willie Mitchell. “I think they’re similar to us [in] not achieving what they want to achieve so far. We’re a much better team, if we play to our capabilities, than our record indicates and [the Ducks] are much the same. They’re definitely a team that plays hard against us and we have a tough time with so we’ll have to be really prepared.”
Meanwhile, the Canucks, who continue to dominate at GM Place holding the second best home record in the league (13-4-0), are looking for redemption after a disappointing 7-2- loss against the Ducks on Oct 30th.
But, while the clubs top line, secondary scoring, and power play (ranked second in the league with a rating of 23.70) seem to be clicking their penalty kill has faltered ranking 21st in the NHL with an efficiency rating of 79.07 per cent.
“Our PK is not where we need it to be,” said Roberto Luongo. “We’ve got the elements to have a good PK. It’s been a bit of a struggle but we’ve stuck with it and we want to make sure we do the little things right on the ice. Sooner or later we’re going to turn it around.”
“If you expect to win you’ve got to put you’re ‘A’ game on the ice,” added head coach Alain Vigneault. “If any part of your game is off then because it’s so competitive on a nightly basis you probably won’t win that game.”Line Up Changes
Kyle Wellwood is expected to sit out, while Darcy Hordichuk is expected to draw into the line up.
"Right now, it's just a matter of us looking at who the opposition is and coming up with what we feel are the best 12 forwards who are going to give us an opportunity to win the next game," said Vigneault.
“We have a team coming in here that has a lot of jam and they play a hard game. All our games against Anaheim have been physical and demanding and more gritty games, so I just feel we need to go with a grittier lineup." Puck drops at 7 PST.
CLIFF RONNING MEET & GREET
Former Vancouver forward and active Alumni Member, Cliff Ronning, will be at GM Place Friday December 18th to meet fans and sign autographs from 6-6:45pm.
One of the top 25 Canucks of all time, at 5’8” and 170 lbs., the Burnaby native played a total of 14 NHL seasons. In his six seasons spent with the Canucks, Ronning racking up 112 goals and 216 assists (112-216-328). The speedy center quickly made a name for himself after being traded from St. Louis in the 90/91 season.
Ronning, known for his small stature and large presence on the ice, was a prominent member of the Canucks ’94 cup run.
Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet Cliff Ronning as he signs autographs and takes photos with fans front of the Alumni wall in the 300 level of GM Place from 6–6:45PM.