Thursday, October 30, 2008

Canucks Shuffle Combos For Kings

A little bit of line juggling will take place Thursday night for the Vancouver Canucks as they travel to the Staples Center for the first time this season to play the Los Angeles Kings.

The Canucks, coming off the frustrating 1-0 loss to the visiting Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, will see sophomore forward Mason Raymond skate on the right wing alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Head Coach Alain Vigneault hopes that Raymond, who had a five-game point scoring streak snapped against the Bruins (3g,3a), can help lift the Sedin's point production. During his post-practice media availability on Wednesday in Vancouver, Vigneault likened the play of the twins lately to that of the stock market. He went as far as to say they were "plummeting". However, like the stock market, things are bound to take a turn for the better and perhaps they will for #22 and #33 with the addition of #21.

With Raymond joining the twins, Steve Bernier now finds himself working with Taylor Pyatt and Kyle Wellwood. The other two lines will likely stay the same as Ryan Kesler continues to play well between Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen. Meantime, Ryan Johnson skated between Darcy Hordichuk and Jason Krog. However I wouldn't be too surprised to see Mike Brown factor into the Canucks roster in L.A., likely taking the spot of Krog.

As for the Kings, they've had a few days rest since being on the ice last Monday. Los Angeles blew a third period lead against the defending Stanley Cup champs and wound up falling 4-3 in a shoot-out against the visiting Detroit Red Wings.

Their bench boss Terry Murray will do some tinkering with his line combonations as well in preparation for their first match-up against the Canucks. Patrick O'Sullivan will move up to play on the first line with the club's top two scorers in Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. Veteran Kyle Calder will take O'Sullivan's spot on a line with Jarret Stoll and Oscar Moller.

Here are the expected line combos and defensive pairings for tonight's game in Los Angeles.


D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Raymond
Pyatt - Wellwood - Bernier
Burrows - Kesler - Hansen
Hordichuk - Johnson - Brown/Krog

Mitchell - Bieksa
Ohlund - Edler
Salo - O'Brien



Patrick O'Sullivan - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown
Kyle Calder - Jarret Stoll - Oscar Moller
Alexander Frolov - Michal Handzus - Wayne Simmonds
Raitis Ivanans - Derek Armstrong - Matt Moulson

Sean O'Donnell - Drew Doughty
Kyle Quincey - Matt Greene
Denis Gauthier - Peter Harrold

Jason LaBarbera
Erik Ersberg

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