The San Jose Sharks are on a roll to start the season.
After soundly beating the Vancouver Canucks in their season opener the apex predators of the Pacific Division have dominated their opposition, giving the Canucks a chance to hand tonight’s visitors their first loss of the season.
The following are five focal points watch for during tonight’s rematch between the Sharks and Canucks.
Hertl The Turtle
The freaky styles of Tomas Hertl have put the NHL on notice to start the season.
The 19-year old Czech forward carries a three-game point streak heading into tonight’s game, including a four-goal outing against the New York Rangers which included a tribute to fellow countrymen Marek Malik in what is undoubtedly the early-season candidate for goal of the year. Keep an eye on the teenager (!) again tonight.
— Strombone (@strombone1) October 9, 2013
Slow and steady wins the race has traditionally been Roberto Luongo‘s modus operandi when it comes to beginning the regular season, however with the crease clearly secured this season Luongo has had a solid start to the year.
A four goal performance on opening night has been the lone low point so far this season, but after besting Cory Schneider in an important statement game on Tuesday I feel Luongo will be loose and ready to play tonight against the Sharks.
Shots, Shots, Shots
The San Jose Sharks like to shoot the puck. John Tortorella likes his teams to block shots. This is not a good combination for the Canucks.
After losing Alex Burrows on opening night while blocking a shot the Canucks will once again be looked upon to help Luongo out by clogging the shooting lanes and stopping everything they can.
The Sharks have outshot their opponents by a grand total of 67 shots through three games this season.
Jason ‘The Gatman’ Garrison
Jason Garrison has thrived during his short stint as a first-unit power play man to start the season, putting up two goals and three assists through four games.
After blasting one by Antti Niemi to open the scoring during the season opener between the Canucks and Sharks expect the road team to keep a close eye on #5 tonight at Rogers Arena.
Dan The Torpedoes
Dan Hamhuis has caught the ire of many Canucks critics to start the season, but if you’re a fan of the fancy stats you know Hamhuis is consistently one of the team’s best skaters.
As Cam Charron pointed out earlier this week the Canucks are taking 62.7% of all shot attempts while Hamhuis is on the ice so far this season, which is to say his troubles are likely a flash in the pan rather than a real problem.
Watch Hamhuis closely again tonight, and count the shot attempts if you dare.