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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs San Jose- Feb 2/17

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It's been a week since the Canucks turned in a pathetic performance that was truly one for the ages, and with this team that's saying something. If they can't get up to compete for a solidification of a playoff spot against the 2 worst teams in the NHL, you're not gonna like how the rest of the season goes.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks

7:00 PM PT - Rogers Arena- Vancouver, BC

TV: SNP - Radio: TSN 1040

I don`t blame you if you forgot just how bad that game against Arizona was. Whether it was from being distracted by the insanity of what`s going on south of the border, to it being a week since they played, or even that you willfully tried your best to forget it, the Canucks got rolled hard by the 2nd worst team in the NHL on a night they could have moved into the WC1 spot.

Canucks
CATEGORY
Sharks
23-21-6 SEASON RECORD 32-17-2
52 Points 66
6th Division Position 1st
Lost 1
Streak Won 1
2.30 (27)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.67 (16)
2.76 (15)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.29 (3)
14.1 (28) Power Play % 16.9 (23)
79.8 (22) Penalty Kill % 82.6 (13)
51.9 (5) Faceoff Win % 48.0 (26)
8.2 (24)
Shooting % 8.9 (16)
48.5 (23)
Corsi For % 51.3 (6)
99.2 (19)
PDO 100.0 (13)

Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com

THE OPPOSITION

Any thoughts that the Sharks might not be able to make another run at a Cup berth this season should probably be written off. They look every bit as formidable as last season, are getting some pretty stellar goaltending and the play of their best players is once again carrying them forward. Brent Burns, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton are all forces to be reckoned with.

And as if they haven`t been rolling along well enough, the Sharks got Tomas Hertl back from the IR, and in his first game back, he scored the OT winner against Chicago to help them move into 1st in the Pacific.

THE CANUCKS

It`s looking like Jannik Hansen may be ready to go soon, and for a team that has a monster of a schedule the rest of the way, Hansen`s return is the best possible news. The question now is: who is coming out of the lineup to make room for Beaker? Common sense SCREAMS Jayson Megna, but we know how those words apply to the way this team is run. I suppose if you're of the mind to keep Jannik Hansen, one of the few truly decent trade assets the team has, then his run of injuries is a blessing. If the Canucks get the doors blown off in the month of February and the playoffs are out of reach, his diminishing return potential is going to be another blow for the not a rebuild plan that Jim Benning and Trevor Linden have the team on.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN