Welcome back, Canucks!

After a pretty lengthy break, the Canucks are back at it tonight against the Sharks. Surprisingly, this is their first meeting of the season, but there will be plenty of hatred in the next month or so. Everyone is well rested, Jannik Hansen is slated to come back for the weekend and somehow, some way… the Canucks are still in the playoff race.

Let’s play the hockey.


No changes to discuss. Jannik Hansen is supposed to be back Saturday, and it looks like at the very least, the sensational Jayson Megna will sit at that point. Oh, I guess Philip Larsen is back.

Ryan Miller is ready to take charge, and he’ll get the first start out of the gate.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of

Defensive Pairings
Alexander Edler 
Alexander Edler
Troy Stecher 
Troy Stecher
Luca Sbisa 
Luca Sbisa
Chris Tanev 
Chris Tanev
Nikita Tryamkin 
Nikita Tryamkin
Philip Larsen 
Philip Larsen

The forgotten brother, Joonas Donskoi, is still out with an upper-body injury. No other individual notes aside from Brent Burns getting some Hart and Norris love via the Vegas oddsmakers.

Martin Jones will start.

San Jose Sharks lines courtesy of


  • With 13 points or 7 wins, the Canucks will equal the EA Sports 65 point prediction. Considering their play at home, that could be wrapped up by the end of the February or sooner. Probably end of February.
  • Going into the break, Bo Horvat had 1G and 1A in his last five games. They were spread out in the middle of that stretch, so he’s due for some Bo-daciousness. Yes, I’m aware of how awful that looks. He did get 1G and 2A vs. San Jose last year, so he hasn’t done that bad against them.
  • As we’ve seen in recent games, Nikita Tryamkin has a monster slap shot. He needs to reign that thing in, but my goodness it’s a blast. Once he gets past the potential to hurt players, he really could give the Canucks a valuable weapon on the PP.
  • Ryan Miller hasn’t done too bad against San Jose since 2014. He is sporting a 2.71 GAA but a decent .919 SA%, three wins and three losses and averaged just over 2.5 goals per game. With Miller’s play this year, he could make a solid run against the Sharks.
  • Here’s a stat – Daniel Sedin likes playing the Sharks, or so the numbers say. Since Oct 2010, he has a 51.0 CF% at 5v5. He also has the same amount of Cups as the Sharks in that time, so I’d venture to say the trend continues. The stats, not the Cups.


Those stretches… they’ll kill you.


Being that it’s the first game between these two this year, the Sharks are on a bit of a roll with bottom feeder teams, and the puck seems to be going in for them. Ryan Miller will have to be lights out to keep it close.

The good vibe from the All-Star Game needs to keep going, so I say Vancouver wins.


Bo Horvat would be a popular choice just because he’s getting the publicity right now and is leading the team in points but Ryan Miller and Nikita Tryamkin would get my vote. Miller has made the Canucks his own this year now that he’s been healthy and listening to him on the radio, he just sounds like he found his groove.

Tryamkin has taken huge strides from the beginning of the year, and most people can’t see him out of the lineup; just some familiarity and time made a world of a difference. 

If it gets late and things are close, everyone will obsess about the playoffs and points missed or given away. Look at the team that’s coming up, missing the playoffs wouldn’t be the worst thing.

  • Charlie Allnut

    On the power play I would love to see Stetcher dishing skillful passes setting up Tryamkin for the one timer blast on the points, that would make Sami Salo smile. And we love Sami.

  • apr

    I was listening to Pratt yesterday morning talk about Henrik and Bo being tied for team scoring. On one breath he was saying how Bo is leading the team and he should be taking over Henrik; in the next breath he was saying that Henrik is having a down year and is outside the top 70. Same number of points. It was so confusing.

  • wojohowitz

    I can already smell the excuses. They were `rusty`. They didn`t have their heads in the game. Seven days off is too many. The Sharks came ready to play and we didn`t. At least they are not playing the `Yotes again – that would be ugly.

  • Dirty30

    Canucks have an unusual propensity to play to the level of their opposition so this could be a good game.

    If they get some speed and skill going they could win –SJ likes to control the game and speed takes that away from them at times. Bo-Baer-Burr could have a fruitful game. WD needs to be aware of putting the Sedins out in situations where SJ can use superior size to hem them in. Having Stecher available to get the puck out would help them.

    With Miller coming off a good rest I’d say the Canucks win 3-2 regulation.

  • TD

    I would see the CA bloggers quit saying stuff along the lines of “somehow the Canucks are still in the playoff race, etc”. In the off season the writers all spoke about how horrible the Nucks were and laughed at Benning for saying they were going to compete for the playoffs. This team is exactly what Benning said it was going to be. A team that would try to compete for the playoffs. The first half schedule was easier than they will face for the rest of the season, meaning they probably won’t make the playoffs and may slip down near the bottom with the parity in the standings. But they are doing exactly what the writers scoffed at since the summer. Quit being surprised and admit Benning had a better idea about the makeup of the team. You don’t have to agree with his rebuild on the fly, but admit that the rebuild is happening and the team isn’t near as bad as you predicted.

    • Dirk22

      Let’s imagine that right now the Canucks were comfortably in a playoff spot, the Sedins were having brilliant seasons and Eriksson had 20+ goals. People who dislike Benning wouldn’t change their views and suddenly say “I was wrong, he’s doing a great job.” people (rightly or wrongly) who don’t like Benning’s direction arent measuring his performance by what the team does this year. It’s always been about the direction Benning has taken to try to patchwork a team together to compete for the playoffs at the expense of long term building..yes the same conversation that’s being had a million times over. That’s the issue people have. The CA writers obviously see this direction as flawed – the fact they’re still going to end up a bottom 5-8 team only compounds the argument against Benning but is not the reason most people don’t like him as a GM.

  • wojohowitz

    Quite right. Let`s pretend that last game never happened. You know the one; Where it took the Canucks 28 minutes to register a shot. Also the 14 shot performance against Calgary – Let`s pretend that never happened or the new franchise record of 12 shots in a game. Yeah that never happened either. In fact let`s play Orwell; The truth is whatever I want it to be, facts mean nothing and anyone who disagrees with me is an enemy and a degenerate and a traitor. Oh look I just won the lottery and that`s my new reality.

  • Bud Poile

    It’s obvious the issue ‘those people’ have are not based on reality because if they were they would be the owner funding the rebuild ,risking his/her franchise/life investment with a half empty arena for a decade.

    That’s how the Griffiths lost the Canucks-rebuilding without exceptional scouting,drafting and player development.

    This isn’t Toronto,Montreal or Winnipeg where your underwear freezes to your discharge 9 months of the year and fans come out for a loser.

    Dirk’s offering speaks of an immature impatience disregarding that this team was laden with ten NTC’s,a rapidly aging core and very scant anything in the prospect cupboards…….

    “We’ve never once said this was going to be easy or fast,” Benning insisted…. “What we said is our goal every year is try to be competitive and make the playoffs. But we’ve never once mentioned the Stanley Cup or had any illusions about where we are as a team. If you don’t have the goal to be a playoff team, what’s the sense of even playing the games?”

    As he told season-ticket holders at recent town hall meetings (and for that, too, he was criticized because obviously it’s a bad thing to try to inform and retain your most important customers), Benning said he is in the process of building a new core group of eight to 10 players who can propel the Canucks back toward the top of the standings about the time the Sedins’ contracts expire in two years.

    It’s a blueprint he learned from Jack Bowman when Benning worked with Scotty’s brother in Buffalo. It also worked for Benning when he became Peter Chiarelli’s assistant GM in Boston.

    “In Boston, when I got there we were the fifth-worst team in the league,” Benning said. “And by drafting well, making a couple of good trades and signing Zdeno Chara as a free agent, five years later we were in the Stanley Cup finals and beat Vancouver in 2011.

    It’s not patchwork,it’s building and it takes more time than smoking a bag of pot. Pay attention.

    • Dirk22

      Gotta admire you Bud. Posting a link to an article where Benning is saying he hopes the Canucks will be among the elite by next year (4) or the year after (5).