The Vancouver Canucks roll into town tonight fresh off a 3-2 win in Anaheim last night. San Jose will look to make the Canucks visit to the tank an unpleasant one. Vancouver like the Sharks, has been bitten by the injury bug. Roberto Luongo, Brendan Morrison, and Brad Isbister will be out of the line up for the Canucks tonight.
Vancouver rookies Jason Jaffray and Mason Raymond both scored their first NHL goals last night in the win over the Ducks. Called up to help fill the voids, the two assisted on each others goals and both made an instant impact for the Canucks. Goalie Curtis Sanford also had a big night stopping 33 shot and standing on his head in the third to preserve the win. Anaheim outshot Vancouver 16-1 in the third period. Vancouver comes into the tank with 10 road wins second most in the league behind San Jose's 11. Here are a couple of interesting stats to be aware of going into tonights game....
*Vancouver is 14-0 when leading after 2 periods !
*Vancouver is also 0-10-1 when trailing after 2 periods !
The Canucks enter tonights game second in the Western Conference and 3 points ahead of Minnesota in the North western Division.
The Sharks have struggled at home this season, no big news there. Tuesday nights win over Minnesota was a huge step in the right direction for this team though. Players who have not chipped in much took control of the game and the home crowd was treated to a very entertaining win. Steve Bernier had by far his best game of the season. Joe Pavelski showed some of the fire he had in training camp and late last season. Milan has been flying and is just a 2 goal game away from taking off. Patrick Marleau has started to play a much better brand of hockey and is beginning to use his speed more than we have seen in a long while. Nabokov has been nothing short of brilliant this season. He has kept the Sharks in many games they could have been blown out in. For all the criticism of the Sharks play this season, the team still sits in the 3 spot in the Western Conference, although 5 points separate the 2 through 10 spots.
Tonights Key's to the Game.........
*Pretty obvious here, start quick ! If this happens to be one of those nights the Sharks only want to play about 40 minutes, fine, just make sure it is the first 40 !
*Continue to throw the body around. San Jose has to use it's size advantage better. I would love to see another couple of fights tonight, continue to show the passion.
*Limit the turnovers. In the 7-1 loss to Buffalo the Sharks turned the puck over 16 times. In the 4-1 win last night they only had 7 turnovers. Vancouver's youngsters have great speed and will look to make you pay for your mistakes. There is a lot of fire in the rookies who were just called up and they showed it last night in Anaheim.
Be sure to tune into SharksBuzz at 10 am PST on Friday morning. Talkcast ID is 74909 and you can call in at (724) 444-7444. The Talkcast is growing bigger and bigger, and Sharks fans finally have a consistent place to tune into to get the latest on the team.
Thanks for reading and enjoy tonights game! GO SHARKS!