Preseason Game #1 Preview: Sharks @ Canucks

Hockey is back, baby! (Image via Ian Lindsay)

It may just be the preseason, but it’s still something, you guys. Hockey is officially back in Vancouver, as the Canucks kick off their preseason schedule – which features 6 games, 4 of which will be in the friendly confines of Rogers Arena – when they play host to the San Jose Sharks tonight.

Read on past the jump for a preview of tonight’s action, including some news and notes on the line combinations we can expect.

Broadcast Info:

Puck-drop: 7:00 PM PST

Radio: Team1040

Television: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific


The expected makeshift lineup for tonight’s game is as follows:

L1: Shinkaruk-Kesler-Burrows

L2: Jensen-Gaunce-Pelletier

L3: Sestito-Horvat-Weise

L4: Archibald-Lain-Hamill

P1: Hamhuis-Corrado

P2: Tommernes-Weber

P3: Alberts-Biega

(s/t to Ben Kuzma).

In net, the plan is to have Eddie Lack handle the workload for the first 2 periods, with Joe Cannata taking over in the 3rd.

Obviously some big names aren’t dressed tonight, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that this game is just a throw away. 

In terms of regular season roster implications and what not, the guys to watch tonight, in particular, are Nick Jensen, Bo Horvat, Frank Corrado, Yannick Weber, and Eddie Lack. With the openings in the lineup being what they are – 2nd line LW, 3C, 3rd pairing on defense, and backup goalie – those guys will have the most eyes looking their way, as they’ll have a real shot to distinguish themselves from the competition over the next two weeks.

We saw Shinkaruk skate with Burrows and Kesler in the team’s scrimmages over the weekend, and that continues tonight. Not too shabby a gig for the 18 year old hot shot scorer’s first taste of NHL action. On the other hand, fellow ’13 1st rounder Bo Horvat draws less favourable linemates, but I’m not really taking anything away from that. 

Meanwhile, John Tortorella will apparently be taking the game in from "above", as he wants to use this time to evaluate the young players. That means that assistant coaches Glen Gulutzan and Mike Sullivan will be in charge behind the bench.

I expect we’ll see the others, most notably the Sedins, for the first time this preseason on Wednesday night when the Canucks host the Oilers.

Numbers Game:

.. just kidding.

Gameday Links:

  • JCDavies

    Nice line for Bo. Really? Why wouldn’t they at least let him get out there with some other prospects like a Mallet or Grenier etc. Weise has some up-side and wheels but Sestito is a known commodity. Tommy S is there as a goon and that is all; why waste taking a look at him when you have a bunch of other guys out there that are young/developing.

    • JCDavies

      Relax….Torts has already said not to read too much into these lines and that guys will move around a bit. As much as Sestito is a known commodity to us, the coaching staff not so much. At least Horvat will be starting off with NHLers (even if I don’t think Sestito is) compared to what Gaunce gets in Jensen and Pelletier.
      They most likely want to see if Shinkaruk can produce if giving top 6 minutes and if Horvat is capable of playing well enough in his own end against pro’s.

  • JCDavies

    I think that is a great line for Bo. If he wants to be in contention for the 3d line C spot he will have to be able to take shifts with the 4th line.

    Like it or not but that is two actual NHL wingers.

    To me this lineup shows that Horvat is ahead of gaunce right now