Ducks McTavish, Canucks Hughes

Canucks Game Day 23: Slumping Ducks Start Vancouver Home Run

Canucks Game Facts

This Evening: Anaheim Ducks at Vancouver Canucks on Hockey Fights Cancer night.

Where: Rogers Arena

When: 7 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Sportsnet / AM 650

Key Factors:

Expected Starting goalies: John Gibson vs. Thatcher Demko

The Canucks felt they had a strong practice on Monday following a day off after Saturday’s loss in San Jose.

Russian winger Andrei Kuzmenko will return to the line-up.

Rookie D-man Cole McWard replaces fellow righty Mark Friedman. The 22-year-old’s last game for the NHL club was last season on April 13th at the Arizona Coyotes. He has four points in 15 AHL games this season in Abbotsford.

Vancouver plays seven of their next eight games at home including a visit from the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.

Anaheim has lost six games in a row and eight of their last ten. This game against the Canucks might be considered a milestone marker for them, or a chance to right the ship and make a statement, especially after getting shellacked two nights ago in Edmonton.

The Ducks are a young team missing a few of their key young players, namely centres Trevor Zegras and Isac Lundestrom and defenceman Jamie Drysdale. All are on injured reserve.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

The Ducks are extremely top heavy in scoring with next to nothing in terms of depth scoring. Center Mason McTavish leads the way with 21 points in 21 games. Before going pointless against the Oilers, he had five points over his previous three.

His veteran winger Frank Vatrano is one point behind him.

Rookie defenceman Pavel Mintyukov is one to watch with 12 points so far this season. The 20-year-old lefty from Moscow averages close to 19-minutes a night.

It’s fair to say Anaheim’s bottom-six is underachieving.

Hot Canucks: J.T. Miller picked up an assist on all three Vancouver goals on Saturday night. Before going pointless against the Seattle Kraken on Friday, Miller had 14 points over his previous nine games.

Quinn Hughes could set a new record for a point streak by a Canucks defenceman. He’s presently at 11 games, a run that’s seen him put up 17 points.

He and Miller are tied for 2nd in NHL scoring with 33 points, three behind Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Compared to his hot start that saw him leading the league in scoring for a stint, Elias Pettersson has just four points in his last eight games.

Special Teams

A Ducks power play that lacks firepower somehow has managed to click 20.9% of the time this season. They went 0-for-3 in Edmonton on Sunday. Their PK is acceptable at 79.8%.

The Canucks went 2-for-4 on the power play in their loss to the Sharks three nights ago and improved their overall percentage to 30%, 4th best in the league.

Vancouver gave up a goal on San Jose’s lone PP chance and the season PK slipped a smidge to an even poorer 76.8%.

Coming In:

Ducks: 9-and-12 after getting shelled 8-2 by the Oilers two nights ago.

Canucks: 14-7-and-1 after a 4-3 loss in San Jose to the Sharks on Saturday night.

ICYMI Canucks:

— The Hugeness Of The Canucks Bo Horvat Trade

— By NHL Standards, Canucks Tocchet As Honest As They Come

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.