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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs San Jose- Feb 25/17

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It's gone from bad, to worse, to downright comical. Just when you think "okay, the Canucks are out of this, so let's see what they can get done at the trade deadline and start finally rebuilding this mess" comes a medical hammer out of the blue. If there really is a hockey God, he hates the Canucks with a burning passion.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks

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

TV: CBC - Radio: TSN 1040

Troy Stecher. Markus Granlund. Christopher Tanev. Michael Chaput. Nikita Tryamkin. And now, (maybe) add to that list... Bo Horvat. 5 players are ruled out of the Canucks lineup tonight, thanks to a mumps outbreak, and with the news that the team's top scorer was not on the ice for the morning skate, that could mean a 6th regular (including half of the team's defense corps) are quarantined. If you were looking for the one thing that this era of the Canucks will be remembered for, search no further.

Canucks
CATEGORY
Sharks
28-28-6 SEASON RECORD 35-18-7
58 Points 77
6th Division Position 1st
Lost 1
Streak OT 1
2.30 (28)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.73 (15)
2.83 (21)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.38 (3)
14.5 (28) Power Play % 17.1 (22)
78.3 (25) Penalty Kill % 81.6 (14)
51.6 (7) Faceoff Win % 48.0 (25)
8.2 (25)
Shooting % 8.9 (16)
48.7 (22)
Corsi For % 51.0 (9)
99.1 (21)
PDO 100.0 (11)

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

THE OPPOSITION

Gearing up to make another run, the San Jose Sharks are looking very much like the team to beat in the West again this season. From the stellar goaltending that they've been getting (that isn't getting nearly enough attention) to Brent Burns having a season as monstrous as his chin hair, to guys like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau getting it done despite being the age where regression usually hits players hard, this is one heck of a hockey team, and tonight they're gonna lay the boots to a Canucks squad that is literally decimated by injury and illness.

Am I complaining about this? Not in the least. I would expect any team to take advantage of another in a situation like this. These things happen and you still have to play the games. It will be interesting to see what this team does at the deadline to arm themselves for what should be an entertaining playoff battle.

THE CANUCKS

While Willie Desjardins has stated that there's no new cases of mumps to report, it did raise a lot of eyebrows when Bo Horvat was not on the ice for the morning skate, but it does look as though it's not illness related and he will play. You'll pardon us all if we believe it when we see it, given how this season has gone.

The Canucks have called up Evan McEneny, Alexandre Grenier, Jordan Subban and Joseph Labate from the Utica Comets, and because of the sheer numbers, we will finally get the chance to see Subban get into a game. I am also gonna enjoy getting a look at McEneny, who has been a surprise for the Comets this year, putting up some good offensive numbers in addition to being rock-solid on the back end.

This stat actually shocked me, because I had no idea it was this out of whack:


It brings up an interesting point of debate: Did the Canucks play Miller so much because he is being showcased, or because they thought he gave them their best chance at winning? And with the empirical evidence that shows how much better Miller is when rested, why on earth was he starting this many games, especially when they say publicly that they have full confidence in Jacob Markstrom? Either way, this could be one of Miller's last appearances in a Canucks uniform, so let's hope it's not as much of a blowout as it indicates it could be.

Another nice one from JPat is this worrisome stat:


It's just shocking that there isn't a bigger outcry when it comes to the sheer and utter incompetency that is the NHL's DoPS. In their attempts to keep from having to defend against idiots saying that they're trying to take hitting out of the game, they're creating loopholes that are allowing players to skate away scot-free on hits to the head. Add in the fact that they have one of the all time (and this is no hyperbole, his suspension record speaks for itself) dirtiest players in the game as part of the team that decides what is and isn't suspendable is such a bad look.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Featuring members of a couple legendary British bands (Bolt Thrower and Benediction) Memoriam are one that can stand up to the scrutiny that comes with that 'supergroup' label, if this track is any indication.