Fresh off Friday’s big win over the Ducks, the Vancouver Canucks are back in action tonight with a Sharks team that’s undefeated in their first four games. The Sharks beat the Avalanche 4-0 last night with Patrick Marleau scoring twice. He’s now done that in every game of the year so far.
Matchup: Vancouver Canucks (2-1-1) v San Jose Sharks (4-0-0)
Venue: HP Pavilion
Time: 5:00 pm
TV/Radio: Sportsnet, Team 1040
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau lead the league in scoring with 11 points. They’re the ones that will make Schneider’s life very difficult tonight. Thankfully, Manny Malhotra is back after the birth of his child to take care of those defensive zone faceoffs.
What to Watch: San Jose Sharks
As mentioned, they’re red hot, Marleau especially. The Sharks are also playing with newly signed Scott Gomez, who might be inspired by seeing Wade Redden score last night.
It’s possible Brad Stuart doesn’t play if he gets a Shanaban for his crushing hit on Gabriel Landeskog last night. For his part, Landeskog said the hit was clean.
- Patrick Marleau-Joe Thornton-Joe Pavelski
- Ryan Clowe-Logan Couture-Martin Havlat
- TJ Galardi-Michael Handzus-Tommy Wingels
- Andrew Desjardins-Scott Gomez-Adam Burish
- Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Brad Stuart
- Matt Irwin-Dan Boyle
- Douglas Murray-Justin Braun
- Antti Neimi
What to Watch: Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks are in tough in the next 48 hours with back-to-back games against the West leading Sharks and the Stanley Cup champs LA Kings. It’s gutcheck time. To do it they’ll need their special teams to be as good as they were Friday. After a rough start, the Canucks scored three on the powerplay and were perfect on the penalty kill.
Jason Garrison might recognize Shark Matt Irwin from their time on the Nanaimo Clippers.
For all the talk of Marleau, let’s not forget Mason Raymond is also coming off a two goal game. It’s not four straight but it’s also Raymond, let’s not get greedy.
Maxim Lapierre is still battling that groin pain, and may not end up playing.
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) January 27, 2013
Easily the toughest opponent the Canucks have faced this year and probably the first team that will actually make the playoffs. The Canucks better hope the Sharks don’t have fresh legs after playing last night. 4-3 in OT with a Bieksa patented winner.
Canucks.com Preview – http://canucks.nhl.com/club/preview.htm?id=2012020072