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Sharks a stark reminder to Canucks that tanking is an art (Preview)

The tanking dreams are already dead.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at San Jose Sharks
San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) and right wing Timo Meier (28) and Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) react after a goal by San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture (not shown) during the third period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Merely two months into the NHL season, and it feels like the Canucks should be tanking.

Unfortunately, this team is stuck in a far worse place — the mushy middle of the NHL standings.

Perhaps the Canucks could take a lesson or two from San Jose on the art of tanking later tonight.

Vancouver Canucks (11-12-3) vs. San Jose Sharks (8-16-4)

SAP Center, San Jose, CA, 7:30 pm

TV: SN Pacific /// Radio: SN 650

Opposition Blog: Fear the Fin

Jokes aside, we know the Canucks aren’t tanking. It’s just that our hopes of such a feat were faintly alive during the Canucks disastrous start to the season.

Alas, as you look at the bottom of the NHL standings this morning, it appears as though there are at least eight teams who have broken away from the pack as front-runners for the Connor Bedard sweepstakes.

The bottom of the NHL standings after the end of action on Tuesday, December 6th.
NHL.com

Sure, the Canucks might round out the bottom 10, but they’re now closer to the playoff bar than they are to the bottom of the standings.

Even with Thatcher Demko now out of the lineup for a prolonged stretch of time, the difference will likely be negligible since he’s largely struggled.

On top of that, the Canucks have a fairly easy schedule in December, including tonight’s contest against the San Jose Sharks.

The Canucks managed to beat the Sharks in overtime just 10 days ago, despite being a tired team on the second night of back-to-backs.

Poor San Jose. Their home rink has been a house of horrors this season. Their home record is 2-8-4 this season. Even though one of those losses came overseas that’s still incredibly sad.

Once again, the Sharks are currently masters in the art of tanking, while the Canucks continue to coast towards another middle-of-the-pack kind of campaign.

PROJECTED LINES

Vancouver Canucks

Forwards

Ilya Mikheyev — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser

Nils Hoglander — Bo Horvat — JT Miller

Andrei Kuzmenko — Sheldon Dries — Conor Garland

Jack Studnicka — Nils Aman — Curtis Lazar

Defence

Quinn Hughes — Luke Schenn

Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Ethan Bear

Riley Stillman — Tyler Myers

Starting Goalie: Spencer Martin

Backup: Collin Delia

Scratched: Kyle Burroughs

Injured: Dakota Joshua (undisclosed), Tucker Poolman (concussion), Travis Dermott (concussion), Tanner Pearson (hand), Thatcher Demko (lower body)

San Jose Sharks

Forwards

Timo Meier — Tomas Hertl — Kevin Labanc

Alex Barbanov — Logan Couture — Luke Kunin

Evgeny Svechnikov — Nick Bonino — CJ Suess

Jonah Gadjovich — Steven Lorentz — Oskar Lindblom

Defence

Jaycob Megna — Erik Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic — Matt Benning

Nick Cicek — Radim Simek

Starting Goalie: Kaapo Kahkonen

Backup: Eetu Mäkiniemi

Scratched: Noah Gregor, Scott Harrington

Injured: James Reimer (lower body), Matt Nieto (undisclosed), Mario Ferraro (foot), Nico Sturm (upper body), Markus Nutivaara (lower body)

The Sharks have recently sent four players to the infirmary. Reimer, Nieto, Ferraro and Sturm all suffered injuries over the past week.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

The Canucks could read this and be inspired to up their tanking effort tonight.

Otherwise, there’s no excuse for losing.

Enjoy the game, folks.