The Anaheim Ducks are coming off a relatively uninspired 5-2 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night, while the Vancouver Canucks are looking to stretch a two-game winning streak. They’d be favourites to do so.
With the recent wins over the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nashville Predators at Rogers Arena, the Canucks moved to 57 points in the NHL standings, good for 7th worst. They’re only two points away from catching up to the Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues. That would shrink their ping-pong ball odds even further; the odds of them landing the first overall pick, North Vancouver native Connor Bedard in this summer’s NHL Draft.
With their league-worst minus-99 goal differential and the defeat at the hands of the almost officially playoff bound Kraken, the Ducks are heading at this point in a more positive direction: Downward.
Do the Canucks really believe that winning games now will carry over with some magic formula for winning games next season? Other than re-establishing Thatcher Demko’s position as one of the best goalies in the NHL, probably not, but then again players and coaches don’t tank. They play to win. Quite a quandary with such a deep draft forthcoming.
As posted by Vancouver radio voice Brendan Batchelor, here’s a glance at Wednesday night’s projected power play units.
1) Andrei Kuzmenko
J.T. Miller – Anthony Beauvillier – Elias Pettersson
2) Sheldon Dries
Vitali Kravtsov – Brock Boeser – Conor Garland
BC Gals Win!
Over the weekend, for the first time in history, British Columbia won women’s hockey gold at the Canada Winter Games, beating Nova Scotia 3-0 in the gold medal game in Summerside, PEI.
The only other time BC won a women’s hockey medal was in 1991 when the provincial teenagers won a silver medal.
Mikayla Blomquist from Kelowna opened the scoring about eight minutes into the second period, followed by goals from Maple Ridge’s Maddie Leaney and Danica Maynard from Osoyoos to close out the shut-out. B.C. finished the tournament with a perfect record.
“This has been a long time coming,” B.C. head coach Kris Hogg told Hockey Canada. “It is hard to put this feeling into words. A lot of these girls have been in our program for a long time and have battled hard from day one to put B.C. on the map. What a great job by this group. I’m very proud of them all.”
— Canucks puck drop is a little after 7 pm Wednesday night on Women’s Empowerment Night, part of International Women’s Day.