Canucks Army GDT #49 – Canucks vs Sharks

For the second time this week, the Vancouver Canucks play host to a visiting team on the second half of a road back-to-back, and for the second time this week, their opponent has dropped a game to the Calgary Flames the night prior. Tonight’s foe, the San Jose Sharks, have been struggling to gain their usual footing in the Pacific this season, and sit just two points ahead of Vancouver for 3rd in the division.

Read past the jump for a preview of tonight’s contest.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST

TV: Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Defensive Pairings
Alexander Edler 
Alexander Edler
Luca Sbisa 
Luca Sbisa
Dan Hamhuis 
Dan Hamhuis
Yannick Weber 
Yannick Weber
Ryan Stanton 
Ryan Stanton
Adam Clendening 
Adam Clendening

Frank Corrado and Chris Tanev will miss tonight’s game with undisclosed injuries (though it is suspected that Tanev may be battling “concussion-like symptoms”). Zack Kassian will be a healthy scratch once again. Ryan Miller gets the nod in goal.

Antti Niemi will start tonight after Alex Stalock played last night in Calgary. Raffi Torres, Justin Braun, and Tommy Wingels are all out with injuries.

Head to Head

G50 v SJS

Storylines

  • Kassian Scratched – As is getting to be a common occurrence around these parts, Zack Kassian finds himself confined to the press box once again tonight. We’ve beaten this issue to death of late, and if you’re a regular reader, you know that we think this is silly. Kassian is good, getting crushed by poor luck, and should be in the lineup on a consistent basis, ahead of Linden Vey, or even Ronalds Kenins, Derek Dorsett, or Bo Horvat. The Canucks are doing themselves no favours by having an asset sour on them and depreciate into nothing by not playing.
  • Pacific Dogfight – The Pacific division is more inept this year than it has been in years past, and a lot of that has to do with both the Sharks and Canucks being shells of their former selves. Neither is a good team at 5-on-5 anymore (San Jose is about average while the Canucks are slightly below average), neither team has particularly strong depth, and both could be tied at 61 points by the end of the night if Vancouver wins.
  • Tanev Out – Chris Tanev will miss tonight’s game with what is being described as an “upper body injury.” Luca Sbisa is currently penciled in to take his place with Alex Edler, though this could change as game time approaches. Losing Tanev is a huge blow to the Canucks, as he has been nothing short of fantastic. The 25-year old soon-to-be RFA leads all Canucks regulars with a 53.5% Corsi, has been a mainstay on an excellent PK, and has added two goals and 11 assists.

Gameday Reading