VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs SAN JOSE SHARKS
7:30 PM PST SAP CENTER, SAN JOSE, CA
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SN650.
OPPOSITION BLOG: FEAR THE FIN
There was a time not too long ago when a trip to the SAP Center was a guaranteed 2 points for the home team. That was then, and this is now, and while the Sharks window seems to be slamming shut, the Canucks are a team on the rise. They won’t be going anywhere unless they can start making their road record look a little more like their home record, though, and what better way to start it than against the Sharks tonight.
These teams met in the last game before the All Star break and the Canucks skated away with a 4-1 win at Rogers Arena, a game that had a lot of feeling to it, though most of the feeling seemed to be the Sharks paying tribute to Joe Thornton by collectively acting like a bunch of grumpy old dicks tonight. Watch for him to try and stir it up again tonight.
A win tonight will give the Canucks an 8-3-0 record for the month of January, and set them up pretty good for what is going to be an extremely difficult road trip. After tonight, they have a back to back weekend daytime set (seriously, NHL this is ridiculous) against the New York Islanders and the Carolina Hurricanes. Then it’s on to Boston, and then Minnesota before returning home and playing the Calgary Flames in their 5th game in 8 nights. If they can come out of this road trip 3-2, it will be a bit of a surprise. And maybe it’s that optimistic part of me coming out, but it actually is starting to feel like in spite of the injuries and the terrible defensive play that this team might be developing into something a little sooner than we thought. Maybe. The month of February will show if we should start thinking of them as contenders or pretenders.
Canucks projected lineup
J.T. Miller — Elias Pettersson — Jake Virtanen
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Loui Eriksson
Antoine Roussel — Adam Gaudette — Brock Boeser
Tyler Motte — Jay Beagle — Brandon Sutter
Alexander Edler — Troy Stecher
Quinn Hughes — Christopher Tanev
Oscar Fantenberg — Tyler Myers
Scratched: Jordie Benn, Tim Schaller
Injured: Micheal Ferland (upper body), Josh Leivo (fractured kneecap), Tyler Graovac (lower body)
Sharks projected lineup
Evander Kane — Tomas Hertl - Timo Meier
Barclay Goodrow — Joe Thornton — Kevin Labanc
Marcus Sorensen — Dylan Gambrell — Patrick Marleau
Melker Karlsson — Joel Kellman — Stefan Noesen
Marc-Edouard Vlasic — Erik Karlsson
Scratched: Antti Suomela, Tim Heed
Injured: Logan Couture (fractured ankle), Dalton Prout (upper body)
No changes to the Canucks lineup apart from Jacob Markstrom getting the start after a stellar performance from Thatcher Demko on Monday night against St Louis.
GAME DAY CHATTER:
"You always want to get that first one on the road especially on long trips." - Brandon Sutter discusses facing the Sharks to kick-off the 5 game roadie. pic.twitter.com/P9IjMH5ppH— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 29, 2020
Coach Green comments on the #Canucks success so far this season and about checking in with his players regularly. #BellLetsTalk pic.twitter.com/ZtdCWvLUn0— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 29, 2020
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:
Today’s GDBH is sadly another obituary, as the metal gods have called home another legendary drummer. Reed Mullin of Corrosion of Conformity died earlier this week, and much like the passing of Sean Reinert, this one hurts a whole lot. COC started out as a hardcore band, and were hugely influential on that scene with albums like Technocracy, but it was their crossover to a more groove based sound on ‘Blind’ that put them into the upper echelons in the early 90s. They went on to even greater commercial success, and Mullin’s drumming was a huge part of that. He’d suffered from a number of health issues, and had left the band because of his alcohol issues, but this shouldn’t tarnish his legacy. Mullin’s style was simplistic yet creative, straightforward yet showed an artistic flair if that makes sense. And he was a heavy hitter, as you’ll hear on these tracks. RIP.