The Canucks are in San Jose today to play the second game of their three game road trip in California where they take on the Sharks for a late afternoon game.
The Canucks, fresh off a 5-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks, look to carry the momentum from their first regulation win of the season into the Shark Tank to face the red hot Sharks.
Cory Schneider fresh off his first shutout and so far best game of the season will get the start once again tonight against a Sharks team who is undefeated in it’s opening four games this season.
Patrick Marleau is tied for the team lead in points with Joe Thronton (11), but leads the team with 8 goals in those four games. This weekend Marleau became only the second person to ever start the season with four straight two goal games.
The Canucks will have their hands full trying to contain San Jose’s top line tonight.
As for the Canucks, Manny Malhotra could be back in the line up tonight after missing Friday night’s game against the Ducks. Malhotra was back in Vancouver for the birth of his third child, a boy named Eli. We have to wait and see on Maxim Lapierre first.
Andrew Ebbett will likely come out in place of Malhotra.
Raymond seems to have found new life this season. He’s already got three goals in the first four games of the year.
What the Canucks need to do to win:
Continue to improve special teams
Vancouver managed to kill off both Anaheim power plays on Friday, Anaheim came into the game with an impressive 60% efficiency with the man advantage. It wasn’t just the PK that helped out in the 5-0 win, the Canucks went 3 for 9 with the man advantage.
A great improvement from where they were in the first three games of the season. The Canucks were able to get under the skin on the opposition early and quite often.
If the Canucks can stay disciplined tonight and take advantage when on the power play, this could be a key to them winning.
Shutting down the Sharks top line
Coming into this afternoons’ game, the Sharks Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are tied for first in the NHL scoring race with 11 points each. Thornton leads the league in assists (9) while teammate Joe Pavelski is second in that category (8).
Vancouver will certainly have it’s hands full tonight with those three.
They will need to keep them off the score sheet to have a really good chance at winning.
The Canucks will need the likes of Mason “the not so filthy little milt” Raymond to stay hot tonight, especially if the game takes on a run and gun style.
Raymond and Zack Kassian each account for 25% of Vancouver’s goals, which is kind of a scary thought, so the need for secondary scoring from the likes of Chris Higgins, Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows could be key to the win tonight.
If Vancouver can take the momentum they had from the game against the Ducks into San Jose, The PK can stay perfect, or better yet, not have to come on the ice much and the top line of Pavelski, Thornton and Marleau can be slowed down, the Canucks have a great chance to win this.
Thanks for reading. Have a great rest of your weekend.