By Daniel Fung
VANCOUVER, BC – March 3: Sven Baertschi #47 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated at the Canucks bench after a 1st period goal against the San Jose Sharks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena (Photo by Derek Cain / ISN)
The Canucks hope a change of venue will bring a change of fortunes when they take on the San Jose Sharks for the third time in seven days.
VANCOUVER, BC – March 3: Derek Dorsett #15 of the Vancouver Canucks fights with Micheal Haley #38 of the San Jose Sharks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena on March 3, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.(Photo by Derek Cain / ISN)
In two meetings against the Sharks this week, the Canucks have proven they have the ability to hang with one of the best teams in the league. What they haven’t proven yet is if they can finish the job and topple one of the hottest teams going right now. They’ll get another chance to try and do that tonight in a building they had a lot of success in last season winning all three games they played there. They won’t be alone either as they’ll have a cheering contingent of over 120 fans that have made the trek down to San Jose as part of the Canucks Official California Fan Road Trip.
VANCOUVER, BC – March 3: Tomas Hertl #48 of the San Jose Sharks skates away from Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena on March 3, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.(Photo by Derek Cain / ISN)
With very few extra healthy bodies at their disposal, don’t expect much in the way of line-up changes for the Canucks unless Radim Vrbata is ready to return or they opt to insert Yannick Weber into the line-up. Ryan Miller, who was understandably heated following Thursday’s loss after he felt the Sharks’ first goal should not have counted, figures to get the call again tonight. San Jose could give newcomer James Reimer the start although they’d be just as wise to stick with Martin Jones’ hot hand.
Keys to the Game
Find “the goal.” In three straight games now the Canucks have put themselves in a position to win in the third period only to allow their opponent to score the key go-ahead goal. They need to figure out again how to be the team that scores that goal instead of being the one that gives it up.
Bo busts out.At one point the hottest Canuck when the calendar turned to 2016, Horvat’s stick has been oddly quiet lately as the sophomore forward has just one assist in his last eight outings. He has shown flashes of brilliance, he just needs to follow-up with some finish.
Start better. The Sharks have got the whole come-from-behind strategy down pat but even though they now find themselves among the league leaders in wins (5) when trailing after two periods, they might not want to tempt fate for a third straight time against the Canucks.