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Vancouver Canucks vs San Jose Sharks

After a sluggish begin to the season the San Jose Sharks have warmed up of late, successful seven of their final 10 video games heading into tonight’s match up towards the Canucks (7 p.m., CBC, SNET650). A preview, together with updates from BEN KUZMA in San Jose following an elective morning skate:

Joe Thornton vs. Erik Gudbranson

Jumbo Joe could also be 38 however he stays one among hockey’s most dominant forwards. With Chris Tanev out of the lineup, Erik Gudbranson is now within the highlight as the one remaining nominally-defensive specialist.
That is as massive a problem because it will get.

The PK is underwater

So over the previous 5 video games, the penalty kill has completely nosedived. The Canucks have to get it fastened and fast. They’re so near the playoff edge as it's that they'll’t afford to be gifting away video games as a result of their particular groups aren't any good.

Inexperienced challenges Virtanen, Burmistrov

Travis Inexperienced likes Jake Virtanen’s dimension and velocity and power-forward potential. And he like the truth that Alexander Burmistrov is sort of a rover. He’s versatile and may play all three forwards positions, however wants higher consciousness with out the puck.
Virtanen sits tonight with Loui Eriksson again after lacking 12 video games with an MCL knee sprain and re-uniting in some unspecified time in the future with Henrik and Daniel Sedin as a result of Inexperienced could combine his strains. Burmistrov is again in between Thomas Vanek and Sam Gagner after sitting out Thursday. Listed below are Inexperienced’s takes following the morning skate:
On Virtanen: “Physicality is a part of the sport that Jake has tor carry. He’s a robust skater and an enormous man, however it’s a nice like between discovering hits and discovering the puck. The ability recreation is a realized recreation.”
On Burmistrov: “He’s a man who’s attempting to re-invent himself and discover his manner within the league and keep within the league. I like his offensive aptitude and to be a man I can play towards anybody. However there are elements of the sport he has to decide to.”

Shutting down the shooters

The Canucks have bled pictures towards and so they’ve bled scoring probabilities too. Have the opposition found out what the Canucks had been doing so nicely? One other factor the Canucks have to kind out or this playoff dream will die rapidly.

Get nice goaltending

Jacob Markstrom, who begins Saturday, didn’t get a complete lot of assistance on Thursday towards the Geese. He’s been principally nice this season, so it’s onerous to hold that one on him. You’ve heard it earlier than: the Canucks want him to maintain standing tall, it doesn't matter what.

San Jose love the Royal Street

Few groups get pictures from alongside the Royal Street — an imaginary line that runs on a line via lifeless centre of the purpose out via the slot — because the Sharks. That’s odd, since one of the best pictures come from passes throughout this line, as a result of the goalie has to maneuver.
Then once more, pictures from this line are additionally the hardest for goalies when going through an open shooter as that’s the angle the place essentially the most web is seen to the shooter. (Give it some thought, on an angle, you see much less of the web.)
It’s an fascinating tactical strategy.

Sharks are the league’s greatest defence

A take a look at a shot map will inform you why: the Sharks don’t give away a lot in their very own finish. They yield few pictures towards and people pictures aren’t superb both.
It’s robust to win if you don’t get good pictures on the opposite staff’s purpose.


Sven Baertschi—Bo Horvat—Brock Boeser
Markus Granlund—Brandon Sutter—Derek Dorsett
Thomas Vanek—Alexander Burmistrov—Sam Gagner
Daniel Sedin—Henrik Sedin—Loui Eriksson
Defence pairings
Ben Hutton—Erik Gudbranson
Michael Del Zotto—Alex Biega
Alex Edler—Derrick Pouliot
Beginning goalie: Jacob Markstrom
Sick Bay
Chris Tanev (thumb)
Troy Stecher (knee)


Joonas Donskoi—Joe Thornton—Joe Pavelski
Tomas Hertl—Logan Couture—Melker Karlsson
Time Meier—Chris Tierney—Mikkel Boedker
Jannik Hansen—Ryan Carpenter—Joel Ward
Defence pairings
Joakim Ryan—Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic—Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon—Tim Heed
Goalie: Ryan Miller
Sick Bay
Paul Martin (Ankle)
Energy play
Canucks: 15.2% (24th)
Sharks: 17.5% (19th)
Penalty kill
Canucks: 76.7% (25th)
Sharks: 88.5% (2nd)
NHL rank
Canucks: 10th
Sharks: 24th

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