Canucks Army GDT #35 – Canucks @ Sharks

After a disappointing showing against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, the Canucks are back in action against another tough division rival in the San Jose Sharks. Thanks to some poor play through the month of December, the lead that Vancouver built up on the rest of the Pacific division has almost completely evaporated – they now sit 2nd in the division only by virtue of having the fewest games played.

Read past the jump for a look at tonight’s critical showdown against the San Jose Sharks.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

Defensive Pairings
Alexander Edler 
Alexander Edler
Chris Tanev 
Chris Tanev
Ryan Stanton 
Ryan Stanton
Kevin Bieksa 
Kevin Bieksa
Luca Sbisa 
Luca Sbisa
Yannick Weber 
Yannick Weber

Zack Kassian has or has not been cleared to play depending on who you ask, and will not dress tonight. Dan Hamhuis is still on injured reserve. Derek Dorsett will once again skate on the second line. Ryan Miller will get the start in goal.

Defensive Pairings
Marc-Edouard Vlasic 
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Justin Braun 
Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon 
Brenden Dillon
Brent Burns 
Brent Burns
Scott Hannan 
Scott Hannan
Matt Tennyson 
Matt Tennyson

Matt Nieto has been activated from injured reserve, and he will play with Thornton and Pavelski on the top line. Tomas Hertl will move down to line 3. Alex Stalock will get the starter’s nod.

Head to Head

G35 v SJS

Storylines

  1. Home Ice Perfection – the San Jose Sharks are undefeated in their home rink in December, winning all seven matchups played on their ice. They have dropped three of their four road games in the month though, including their last two games against Anaheim and the Los Angeles Kings. Still, the Sharks have proven to be a nightmare for visitors, and a win tonight will ensure a perfect 8-0-0 December in front of their home fans.
  2. Dillon Dominant – Since being dealt to the Sharks from the Dallas Stars, Canucks Army favourite Brenden Dillon has been fantastic skating on San Jose’s second pair with Brent Burns. In a little over 200 minutes together, Burns and Dillon have a Corsi% north of 57%, which is well above the decent 51.3% mark that Burns has been posting when away from his new partner. The results haven’t quite been there yet, but with numbers like these, they’re sure to be coming soon.
  3. Miller Time? – The Canucks had a very poor outing last game against the Anaheim Ducks, but were able to steal a point thanks to some good luck and a strong showing from Ryan Miller. Miller’s best game as a Canuck arguably came earlier this year against these same Sharks in a 3-2 Canucks win in which Vancouver was outshot 36-19. Repeating that performance may be difficult, but necessary for Vancouver to leave San Jose with a valuable two points.

Gameday Reading

Note: we’re going to be trying some different things with our game coverage here in the coming days and weeks. Please tell us what you want to see, let us know what you think of the changes, and suggest how we can improve!

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Dorsett still on the 2nd line? Hope this means Willie is trying to build chemistry on his other lines and Dorsett’s just a placeholder for Kassian.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Coach is really putting Horvat in a position to succeed. Burr and Hansen as wingers could make even Hodgson look defensively responsible. If Horvat manages to put together a good night, that line could do things.

    • Matty Franchise Jr

      Not to mention outside speed and netfront presence on the offensive side. Both Burr and Hansen can also get under the skin when going in the right direction. Should be a nice compliment for Horvat tonight.

      I’m pretty curious to see how it works out against the Sharks ability to line match on home ice. Definitely a look we haven’t seen out of our bottom 6 in a while.