The season is officially upon us.
While it’s still technically just the preseason, beggars really can’t be choosers. When taking into account the fact that it has been 163 days since the Vancouver Canucks last played a game we could talk about, hockey of this sort in any form will surely be a sight for sore eyes.
Tonight you get two for the price of one.
Game A: Sharks @ Canucks
Puck Drop: 6:00 PT
TV: Sportsnet 360
L1: Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Radim Vrbata
L2: Hunter Shinkaruk – Linden Vey – Alex Friesen
L3: Mike Zalewski – Bo Horvat – Derek Dorsett
L4: Ronalds Kenins – Kellan Lain – Dane Fox
P1: Alex Edler – Frank Corrado
P2: Dan Hamhuis – Jordan Subban
P3: Peter Andersson – Kevin Bieksa
Goalies: Eddie Lack, Joe Cannata
By my count, there’s 10 players in that lineup above who figure to be involved in some capacity when the Canucks open their regular season two weeks from tomorrow in Calgary. That’s not including the likes of Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk, who both have something to prove in this upcoming slate of 6 games.
For Horvat, there has been a lot of talk about the potential of him earning a spot as a bottom-6 pivot out of camp. As for Shinkaruk, he’d do well to reprise some of the magic we saw from him in an eerily similar spot to this just last year.
It’s worth noting that you can also listen to this game on TSN1040, as well.
Game B: Canucks @ Sharks
Puck Drop: 7:30 PT
L1: Alex Burrows – Nick Bonino – Zack Kassian
L2: Brendan Gaunce – Cal O’Reilly – Nicklas Jensen
L3: Tom Sestito – Dustin Jeffrey – Alex Grenier
L4: Darren Archibald – Cole Cassels – Brandon DeFazio
P1: Yannick Weber – Chris Tanev
P2: Henrik Tommernes – Bobby Sanguinetti
P3: Anton Cederholm – Alex Biega
Goalies: Jacob Markstrom, Joacim Eriksson
The second of the two split-squad games between these two teams is set to go down in Stockton, due to a scheduling conflict at the Shark Tank. It doesn’t appear that there’s any way to actually track down footage of this game tonight, so you’ll just have to take our word for it that it’s actually happening.
As you could’ve expected, a far less NHL-ready squad is being sent over to compete in this game. They’ll be tasked with going up against a Sharks squad that’ll include the Hertl-Jumbo Joe-Pavelski triumvirate, their top defense pairing in Vlasic and Braun, and Antti Niemi.
The real matchup to watch though, of course, is what happens when hockey’s equivalent of the Immovable Object (John Scott) meets the Unstoppable Force (Top Sixtito) in an epic collision course of 3rd line left wingers. Especially considering that Willie Desjardins has supposedly told Sixtito to tone it down with the fisticuffs this season. You’ll just have to wait patiently by the telegraph to hear word of what transpired in Stockton, California tonight.