The Vancouver Canucks have made it back home after being late to arrive in Calgary for a 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on March 3 because of snow. Now they face a team with a similar logo–menacing sea creature–and strikingly similar record in the San Jose Sharks tonight. The Sharks come into this game with a 10-6-4 record and the Canucks hold an 11-6-4 tally.
When these two teams last met at the end of January, the Sharks took a big bite out of the Canucks and nabbed a 4-1 win. Tensions between the two squads also got a bit heated, as exemplified above. At the time, the Sharks were just one of many red-hot teams in the Western Conference and that win was part of a seven-game win streak, but then San Jose hit a wall in the month of February and slumped.
In that win, the Sharks shut down both Daniel and Henrik Sedin, holding them off the score sheet, so Vancouver will ideally look for their Swedish twins to actually produce this time. When they are productive in games against San Jose, it’s a good thing: Henrik has 10 goals and 21 assists in 45 games while Daniel has put up nine goals and 19 assists in 44 games.
New father of twins Jannik Hansen has three goals and four assists in 16 total games against the Sharks, but is on a budding points streak because he’s put up two points in each of Vancouver’s last two games.
Chris Higgins has a small body of work against San Jose, but a pretty good one–two goals and three assists in 10 games. On the defensive side, Alexander Edler has produced a fair amount of offense against the Sharks to the tune of three goals and six assists in 19 games.
For goaltending, Cory Schneider‘s record against San Jose could use some work. He has a 3-2-0, but a 4.08 goals-against average and an .894 save percentage. On the other hand, Roberto Luongo has a 9-10-4 (that includes a tie from the olden days and three overtime losses), but a better 2.70 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. Schneider was in for that 4-1 loss earlier this season, so Luongo may get the nod tonight.
This game begins at 10 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Pacific–which means it might be a good one to watch for eastern hockey fans after the earlier games end if their appetite for hockey is not yet sated and they have NHL Center Ice.