Make note of the early 5 pm pacific start time for the Vancouver Canucks as they host the Los Angeles Kings, winners last night in Seattle 3-1 over the Kraken. LA salvaged a victory in the final match-up of that season series after the Kraken had taken the first three.
Speaking of head-to-head, the Canucks have beaten the Kings in nine of their last ten meetings, four of them post-regulation. So far this season, Vancouver beat LA in a shoot-out 3-2 in SoCal on March 18th after handing them a loss in regulation 4-1 at Rogers Arena back on November 18th.
The Canucks are next on the block to be eliminated from the Western Conference playoffs. Should they finish 7-and-0 and the Winnipeg Jets lose all six of their final games, the Canucks could be in. The Jets hold the tie-breakers with Vancouver should Winnipeg win a game and both teams finished with 89 points. The caveat; the Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators would also pretty much have to fall apart for the Canucks to sneak past them.
Put it this way, if one were to pick a mini-miracle option for Vancouver, pick winning the NHL Draft Lottery instead.
Maple Ridge Earns Nice Consolation
Not a bad consolation prize for Maple Ridge. The community fell short of winning the annual Kraft sponsored contest entitled Hockeyville; the 2023 title went to West Lorne, Ontario. While Maple Ridge, Saint-Anselme, Quebec and Ste. Anne, Manitoba all receive $25,000 in local arena upgrades and $!0K in player equipment as runners-up, West Lorne nails down $250,000 in arena upgrades, the same $10K for equipment, and gets to host an NHL preseason game.
Lumby, BC won the contest in 2016, North Saanich on Vancouver Island the year before that, while Terrace won it in 2009. The program and contest has been running since 2006.
Thought The Canucks Were A Foregone Conclusion … ?
Holy moly. What happened first? Knowing the Canucks weren’t going to make the postseason or knowing the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs would be playing each other in the first round of the playoffs. Mainly because of the Boston Bruins incredible season on top of the Atlantic Division and a less competitive chase down below the Leafs and Bolts, it’s pretty much been a foregone conclusion that the two would meet in the 1st round since around New Years.
The one element that still needs to be decided; who gets home ice. It’s very much looking like Toronto will finish in 2nd place. The Maple Leafs have a four point lead (100 to 96) and two games in hand on Tampa Bay. The 3rd place Lightning have just five games remaining in the regular season.
Toronto was bounced in the 1st round last spring by Tampa in seven games after suffering the same fate the postseason before at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens.
The Bruins will play the 2nd wild card team in the Eastern Conference, yet to be determined.
Enjoy the Hockey Action!!