Cryptic Click: Canucks & Sharks, Game Three

Yankee Canuck
May 20 2011 06:29PM

 

Vancouver Canucks @ San Jose Sharks

  6:00 PM PST

Sharks   Canucks
8 Wins 10
6 Losses 5
0 OTL 2
2.87 (7th) Goals/Game 2.67 (9th)
3.20 (12th) Goals Against/Game 2.53 (5th)
18.5% (10th) PP 25.5% (3rd)
79.4% (10th) PK 81.1% (T-7th)

Fast Facts

> There Was a Fight And A Hockey Game Broke Out: Sensing his counterpart behind San Jose's bench will have no problem rolling his fourth line at will tonight, AV will fire back by sitting Hodgson and Tambellini and inserting Bolduc and Glass. Bolduc is an interesting choice: the 25-year-old has never been in the post season but has shown he can definitely hit, help out on the PK and scored one nice shorthanded tally this season. He's also highly prone to injury so AV is probably happier feeding him to the wolves at the expense of skilled players. Away from home it'll be up to the top six to keep the good times rolling at ES/PP while Bieksa and Hamhuis will be under increased pressure to perform at both ends of the ice. A lot of focus will fall again on the Torres/Lapierre/Hansen line who need their best shutdown game in addition to putting pucks on net and being their typical PITA selves. Luongo is winless in his last three starts at the Shark Tank, but has quietly put together a .917 SV% in the first two games.

> Fun With Fourth Liners: McLellan stood by his guy Eager who took 20 PIMs and was plainly reckless but still scored a goal, decked a top line threat and challenged the entire Canuck bench to a donnybrook. More important is if that type of play inspired the top nine, especially guys like Clowe, Pavelski, Couture, Heatley and Setoguchi who have been absent on the scoresheet so far. The good news for the Sharks is their PP is steamrolling along at 100% efficiency, so if they can goad a Canuck or two into a bad moment or a sloppy play, they may be able to capitalize pretty quickly. Equally as important is stopping the Canucks transition in the neutral zone and winning battles along the boards, something they've failed at in the first two games and definitely were more vulnerable at as the game rolled along (Vancouver has outscored them 6-1 in the third period). Without Demers means they'll lose another offensive threat from the blueline and Niemi has to rebound from his .816 SV% in game two, the worst game statistically of this post season and his third worst dating back to last season's banner run with Chicago.

> Impress Your Friends With Knowledge!: Vancouver is 4-1 all-time when up 2-0 in a series, but are also 2-3 in game 3's in that same span.

* - "Cryptic Click" is the use of a single click, rather than several longer ones, when Orcas communicate to each. Hey, if you can't get your science nerd on during the playoffs, what good are you?

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The Yank has been blogging about Vancouver since 2005 and is a founding manager of the Nucks Misconduct community. Occasionally he pops up on canucks.com. Frequently there is whiskey in his hand. Feel free to yell at him over email or Twitter.
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