A 1:00pm Start? Seriously?
The San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks will meet for the third time in four weeks on Saturday afternoon as part of a very heavy day of NHL action.
San Jose Sharks (26-13-5) at Vancouver Canucks (28-15-4)
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 21, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast: NHLN-US (HD), CSN-CA (HD), SNET-P (HD)
Sharks vs. Canucks Betting Lines from Bodog
Spread: Canucks -1.5 (+205)
Moneyline: Sharks +122: Canucks -134
Over/Under: 5.5 goals
*NHL ATS Matchup Report*
Saturday’s game will mark the final meeting of the teams this season – the previous three games have all gone to the road team by a 3-2 final score.
The Sharks come into the game playing very well – 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and having gained at least a point in 10 of their last 11 road games.
The Canucks on the other hand have been underwhelming – 0-1-1 during their current six game home stand and 2-2-1 since defeating their nemesis Boston two weeks ago.
The San Jose Sharks are playing arguably their best hockey of the season – just three losses in regulation in their last 18 games.
They have climbed to first place in the Pacific Division and third place in the Western Conference as a result.
Interestingly, the offensive stars have been sputtering during their recent run – Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture are pointless in their last three games – Marleau has one goal in his last five games overall and Michal Handzus has just one point in six games.
Team leader Joe Thornton has had his share of issues in Vancouver – just one goal and three assists in his last seven games. But Dan Boyle has 8 assists in his last six games overall for the Sharks and Marleau has a four-game point streak in Vancouver with three goals and an assist.
San Jose’s starting goaltender hasn’t been announced yet – Antti Niemi is 2-4-0 with a 3.31 GAA in six games at Vancouver while backup Thomas Greiss is 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals against average and a .960 save percentage in his last two games overall.
The Vancouver Canucks need a win – two straight losses in front of their home town crowd has the locals feeling a little squirrely! Their only two wins in five games have required extra time – no regulation victories over that span. The offense has slowed significantly but and the defense has looked out of sync.
Vancouver’s offense has slipped from number one in the NHL to fifth during their recent funk. Henrik Sedin is pointless in two straight games and brother Daniel has just one point in three games.
Alex Burrows has led the way offensively with two goals and two assists in three games which give Canucks fans some hope.
Henrik Sedin’s recent play against San Jose also gives fans reason for optimism – he has 19 assists and 22 points in his last 14 meetings with the Sharks. Vancouver still owns the league’s best power play (23.8%) but have, like the rest of the team have been slightly underwhelming lately.
Defensively, Vancouver needs to be better – plain and simple. They need to help their goaltenders!
Roberto Luongo is 2-2-2 in his last six games but has an impressive 1.96 goals against average and a .938 save percentage during that span.
Luongo has allowed two goals or less in five of his last six starts, posting a .938 save percentage and is 6-1-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average versus the Sharks since the start of last season.
Dave’s Free Canucks Betting Predictions
Vancouver is 5-0-2 in its last seven home games against the Sharks.
Vancouver’s recent play certainly hasn’t instilled a ton of confidence as of late but good teams find a way to snap out of their funks.
Vancouver has been home for a week while the Sharks will fly across country for this unusual matinee showdown. The Canucks are due and so are their fans.
In a heavyweight showdown take the home town Canucks to finally send their rabid fans home happy!
Pick: Vancouver Canucks -134
Here are some interesting Player Props for Saturday’s Game:
Henrik Sedin Points
Line = 1.5 Over (1.75) | Under (1.50)
Daniel Sedin Shots on Goal
Line = 3.5 Over (1.45) | Under (1.80)
Ryan Kesler Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.85) | Under (1.40)
Alexander Edler Shots on Goal
Line = 2.5 Over (1.55) | Under (1.70)
Kevin Bieksa Points
Line = 0.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)
San Jose Shots on Goal
Line = 32.5 Over (1.55) | Under (1.70)
San Jose Power Play Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.50) | Under (1.75)
Logan Couture Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (2.00) | Under (1.35)
Jannik Hansen Points
Line = 0.5 Over (1.75) | Under (1.50)
David Booth Shots on Goal
Line = 2.5 Over (1.55) | Under (1.70)