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Game Preview / Gamethread #19: Canucks vs Sharks

November 20, 2023
- Westy

The Canucks look to end their 2 game losing streak against San Jose.

SHARKS (3-13-1) at CANUCKS (12-5-1)

10 p.m. ET; TVAS, SNP, NBCSCA

The Canucks have lost two in a row for the second time this year. I won't blame it on the podcast that Jimmi and I did. I will blame it on a team that has looked tired and was outplayed for long stretches in both of the losses. The good news from those losses was that the Canucks were able to score 4 even strength goals....of course we can't ignore the 9 even strength goals against in those games. Taco must be a little concerned that the system breaks down when new players are inserted into roles.

The Sharks, after giving up 20 goals in their first 2 games of the month, have gone 3-3, including a 5-1 victory over St Louis in their last game. I am not saying the Sharks have turned into a juggernaut, but I think the Canucks will have a challenge tonight, as the Sharks definitely want to get some revenge after the embarrassment of the last game. The Canucks 10-0 record against the Sharks could be in jeopardy.

Going the tweets this morning, there are some interesting things floating around, like Nils Hoggy being talked about in trade speculation. I would have said hell yes to this in August, but the way he has been playing, at his cap hit, makes me think it would be a "no" from me right now. Sportsnet put this graphic up after the last game:

Talk about a way to keep a losing streak going. I don't want to see anything like this again until the Canucks are in the playoffs. I think Quinn Hughes feel the same way. He was on After Hours and it is my first glimpse to see him deal with a longer format of questions, some of them stupid ones. Being captain of the Canucks is going to come with lots of nonsense and you could see after losing to the Kraken, that Huggy was going through the motions until questions about his family brought out some emotion.

Here are some other interesting stats before this game:

This stat is a surprise as I never really saw a game where the Nucks were hitting the shit out of another team. I am not really sure what constitutes a hit in this league, but I wish that Myers would throw his body around some more. This stat is very misleading as I would argue that timing of a hit or the result of a hit (turnover) might be more valuable to study than just tracking the hits themselves.

Ian Cole is playing over 20 minutes of ice time a game, the most he has ever played. This is what happens when the Canucks lose a defenseman. Cole is 34 years old and playing too many minutes because the call-ups aren't trusted to play more.

Let's hope the Canucks realize that they are playing a less-skilled team and take advantage of the speed they have and score some PP goals to keep the Sharks honest in the own end. The Canucks don't need to have their first 3 game losing streak of the year.

Sharks projected lineup

William Eklund -- Tomas Hertl -- Fabian Zetterlund

Filip Zadina -- Mikael Granlund -- Anthony Duclair

Mike Hoffman -- Luke Kunin -- Kevin Labanc

Givani Smith -- Ryan Carpenter -- Jacob MacDonald

Mario Ferraro -- Ty Emberson

Nikita Okhotiuk -- Kyle Burroughs

Calen Addison -- Jan Rutta

Mackenzie Blackwood

Kaapo Kahkonen

Scratched: Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Nikolai Knyzhov, Nico Sturm

Injured: Logan Couture (lower body), Alexander Barabanov (broken finger), Matt Benning (undisclosed)

Canucks projected lineup

Andrei Kuzmenko -- Elias Pettersson -- Ilya Mikheyev

Phillip Di Giuseppe -- J.T. Miller -- Brock Boeser

Dakota Joshua -- Teddy Blueger-- Conor Garland

Nils Hoglander--Sam Lafferty -- Anthony Beauvillier

Quinn Hughes -- Filip Hronek

Ian Cole -- Noah Juulsen

Mark Friedman -- Tyler Myers

Thatcher Demko

Casey DeSmith

Scratched: Akito Hirose

Injured: Pius Suter (undisclosed), Carson Soucy (foot), Guillaume Brisebois (concussion)

Status report

With Sturm, a forward, away from the Sharks for personal reasons, Kunin moves from second-line right wing to third-line center. ... Labanc returns to the lineup after being scratched for a 5-1 win against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. … Blackwood starts for the third time in four games after Kahkonen made 44 saves Thursday. … MacDonald will play after missing six games because of an undisclosed injury. ... The Sharks sent forward Danil Guschin to San Jose of the American Hockey League on Friday. ... Friedman replaces Hirose, a defenseman, and the right-handed shot will play the left side on the third pair. - NHL.com

Game Day Battle Hymn

I think the Canucks could use some motivating music to help them get a fast start to the game and score some goals. Kent's metal choices seem to be scaring the boys. So, let's go back to a simpler time, where men wore weird hats and Kurt Rambis glasses. Devo was greatly overplayed on MTV in the 80s, but now I appreciate the silliness. Kent will hate it.

Go Coconuts Go!

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