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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME SEVENTY-THREE: Canucks vs San Jose- Apr 9, 2022

After a short Southwest road trip, the Canucks are back home for five straight, starting tonight against the San Jose Sharks.

San Jose Sharks v Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (33-28-10) vs SAN JOSE SHARKS (29-32-9)

ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC

7:00PM PST

TV: SN1, CITY, SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: FEAR THE FIN

It’s getting down to the wire, and mathematically at least, the Canucks are still in the playoff race. The Dallas Stars hold that last spot, and have those two games in hand that could end up being the difference maker, but after a prolonged stumble, the Canucks, again facing injury adversity, responded by picking up 5 of a possible 6 points so far this week.

That included winning back to back against Vegas and Arizona by identical 5-1 scores as they head into this visit from the San Jose Sharks tonight. The Sharks window has definitely closed on them, and with GM Doug Wilson stepping down for medical reasons after 19 years at the helm, the Sharks are going to have to rebuild a franchise that made the Finals in 2016. They don’t score a lot, they have a lot of injuries, and the only players getting anything done for them are aging vets whose prime days are behind them save for Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl.

The Canucks are looking to win their third straight, as well as sweep the season series against the Sharks, having won 5-2 in December and a 5-4 OT win in February. The Sharks have lost five in a row, scoring a measly eleven goals in that span. The Canucks have been a far better team on the road than at home this season, but with the next five at home, bringing the road game mentality might do them some good.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, this is what we’ll get in tonight’s disasterpiece.

Sharks projected lineup

Rudolfs BalcersTomas HertlAlexander Barabanov

Timo MeierLogan CoutureSasha Chmelevski

Matt NietoNick BoninoNoah Gregor

Jonathan DahlenScott Reedy

Jaycob MegnaBrent Burns

Mario FerraroErik Karlsson

Marc-Edouard VlasicRyan Merkley

Radim Simek

Kaapo Kahkonen

James Reimer

Scratched: Jeffrey Viel, Nicolas Meloche

Injured: Adin Hill (lower body), Kevin Labanc (shoulder), John Leonard (lower body), Jonah Gadjovich (upper body)

Canucks projected lineup

Elias PetterssonJ.T. MillerConor Garland

Vasily PodkolzinBo HorvatAlex Chiasson

Jason DickinsonJuho LammikkoWilliam Lockwood

Nic PetanBrad RichardsonBrad Hunt

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Travis DermottKyle Burroughs

Thatcher Demko

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Sheldon Dries

Injured: Tanner Pearson (undisclosed), Brock Boeser (upper body), Tucker Poolman (upper body), Matthew Highmore (upper body), Nils Hoglander (lower body)

So, the good news is that Quinn Hughes is feeling better and ready to go for tonight. The bad news? Tanner Pearson is a no-go tonight after missing most of Thursday’s game against Arizona. So there’s some line shuffling that’s going to go on, and it’s creative to say the least, as Brad Hunt will play on the wing tonight. Vasily Podkolzin, who has been fantastic over the past few games gets a promotion to play alongside Bo Horvat and Alex Chiasson, and after the game those two had in Arizona, this could be a good night for Podz. Thatcher Demko will get the start for the Canucks, while Kaapo Kahkonen will go for San Jose after James Reimer left Thursday’s game against the Flames following a collision with Logan Couture. He’ll dress, but unless things get crazy I would expect Kahkonen goes the distance.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

With a new, less culturally insensitive name in place, German electro dance metal weirdos ELECTRIC CALLBOY are back with a brand new track and it’s glorious!

Enjoy the game, everyone! Go Canucks Go! Slava Ukraini!