Tale of the Tape: Pre-season Game 5
|Pre-season Record: 1-3-0
Last Game: 6-1 W vs Phoenix (SEP.23.13)
2013 Season Series: 0-2-1
Last Meeting: 2-3 L (SEP.16.13)
|Pre-season Record: 2-0-1
Last Game: 2-3 OT/L at San Jose (SEP.21.13)
2013 Season Series: 3-0-0
Last Meeting: 3-2 W (SEP.16.13)
The Vancouver Canucks (1-3-0) will look to record their second win in 24 hours when they head into the Shark Tank to battle the San Jose Sharks (2-0-1) in pre-season action.What You Need to Know
- Tonight marks the fifth of six pre-season games the Canucks will play this year and their final pre-season road game. For San Jose, it is their fourth of six-pre-season contests and their last one in front of their home fans.
- The Sharks knocked off the Canucks by a 3-2 score eight nights ago at Rogers Arena in what was the pre-season opener for both clubs. Sharks F Tommy Wingels broke a 2-2 tie with just under four minutes left in regulation to give San Jose the win.
- The Canucks picked up their first win of the pre-season last night with a resounding 6-1 win over the Coyotes. Six different players scored for Vancouver in the win.
- The Sharks are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory over the Coyotes on Sunday. F Logan Couture notched the winner on the power play with 1:32 remaining in overtime for San Jose. All three of San Jose's pre-season games have ended in identical 3-2 scores.
- Canucks D Dan Hamhuis, who has not seen action since the team's pre-season opener nine days ago against the Sharks, is expected to play tonight. He has been held out of the lineup with what has only been vaguely described as "general soreness."
- Among the players also expected to dress for the Canucks tonight include D Frank Corrado, G Eddie Lack, and the recently recalled F Zack Hamill.
- F Jordan Schroeder, who injured his foot blocking a shot in Saturday's loss to Edmonton, looks to be out for a while. It was revealed yesterday the Canucks had found "something" with his x-ray although the specifics were not divulged.
- F Mike Santorelli has recorded a point in every single game he has dressed in so far in pre-season action. He enters play today with a team-leading four points.
- Canucks F Zack Kassian and F Dale Weise will sit out once again tonight. Both are currently under NHL suspension. Both Weise and Kassian will miss the remainder of the pre-season while Kassian will sit out an additional five games once the regular season gets underway.
- Ex-Canuck F Raffi Torres won't be suiting up for the Sharks anytime soon. It was revealed on Monday that the forward will miss anywhere from six weeks to four months with an ACL injury.
Tonight's game faces off at 7:30 pm PT and can be seen on Sportsnet Pacific. Listen live on The TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or online at teamradio.ca.
Those away from a TV or radio can follow @CanucksGame on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.
Keys to the Game
The Canucks Win If...
- They're determined to send a message. The Sharks have had the Canucks' number recently and they know it. With these two teams set to clash again in the season opener in just over one week, the Canucks will want definitely want to prove that things will be different this year and a win at the Shark Tank tonight would go a long way towards setting the tone for the regular season.
- They feed off last night's win. The Canucks' offensive touch finally made an appearance last night at Rogers Arena. While Vancouver might not be able to count on having that type of a goal explosion against a much more stingier Sharks team, they have to be feeling a bit better about their ability to put the puck into the net tonight.
- Lack plays big. He might have already officially inherited the job as back-up to Roberto Luongo this season but Eddie Lack still has a ways to go if he wants to prove he is definitely NHL-ready. He'll want to have a strong outing tonight in what is likely his final tune-up opportunity before the start of the regular season.
The Sharks Win If...
- They keep doing what they've been doing against the Canucks. If you count exhibition, regular season and playoffs, the Sharks have walked away victorious over the Canucks in eight straight meetings so if isn't broken, don't fix it.
- They keep getting shots, shots and more shots. The Sharks threw everything but the kitchen sink on net the last time these teams met nine days ago in pre-season action testing Vancouver's netminding tandem of Lack and Cannata 42 times. Getting a lot of shots doesn't always translate into a lot of goals but it's probably a good indication that they're controlling the play for the most part which is exactly what the Sharks want to do again tonight.
- They feed off the fans. There are few buildings in the NHL that are more intimidating to play in than the SAP Center and while it's still just a pre-season contest, you can bet the fans in San Jose will be fired up and fully behind their team hoping they can knock off their new divisional rival for a second consecutive time in exhibition action.
Ones to Watch
Zach Hamill knows the chances of him cracking the opening night lineup for the Canucks are probably slim to nil. That being said, he;d love everything opportunity he can get to make an impression on the coaching staff in Vancouver especially if it means increasing his potential to be a mid-season call-up somewhere down the line.
For a time it appeared Hamill wouldn't get that opportunity again in this year's pre-season after he was dispatched to Utica last Friday but he'll get at least one more chance tonight to showcase his stuff after being recalled yesterday. The Vancouver-native suited up for the Canucks in their pre-season opener against the Sharks nine days ago registering one shot and two hits in 7:41 of ice-time.
Hamill, who was drafted eighth overall by the Bruins back in 2007 following a stellar junior career with the Everett Silvertips, has only appeared in 20 career NHL games recording four assists and four penalty minutes. His last NHL appearance was back on February 4, 2012.
Raffi Torres' loss may turn out to be Tomas Hertl's gain. At least that is the opinion of many closer observers of the Sharks.
With Torres sidelined with a right knee injury that could potentially force him to miss up to four months, the smart bet to take Torres' spot on the roster is the 19-year-old Hertl. A first round pick of the Sharks (17th overall) back in 2012, Hertl has spent the past three seasons playing for Slavia Praha in his native Czech Republic where he developed a reputation for being a slick playmaker with a strong shot. He tallied 18 goals and 30 points in 43 games playing with Slavia Praha last season.
Hertl has made his presence felt so far in pre-season action amassing one goal and two points to go with seven shots in two games played. He had an assist agianst the Canucks nine nights ago at Rogers Arena.
Game Notes on Canucks.com are written by Daniel Fung. Follow him on Twitter @daniel_fung or e-mail him at email@example.com.