The Sharks’ first game after the trade deadline should come with an extra layer of drama. It’s against the Vancouver Canucks on home ice after a trade that sent Nikolay Goldobin to the British Columbia franchise to acquire Jannik Hansen, after all. Unfortunately visa issues will keep that dream from becoming a reality as neither Hansen nor Goldobin will play tonight for their new teams.
Instead it’s a ho-hum March game between two teams moving in opposite directions. San Jose looks to improve upon its standing atop the Pacific while Vancouver is looking to move as far down the table as possible before the end of the season. With 20 games left before the playoffs begin, the Sharks are looking mighty fine in terms of their postseason standing.
That’s good enough for home ice through the first two rounds of the postseason if things stay as they are. If the Sharks can go on a little run here, who knows, perhaps all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Getting home ice is dependent on beating teams like the lowly Canucks.
So far so good for Team Teal. The Sharks are 2-0 against Vancouver this season, both by 4-1 scores. San Jose has scored on the power play in each of those contests and Chris Tierney has thoroughly enjoyed himself. He has two goals and two assists in a pair of games against the Canucks this season. Tierney has seven points in 10 games against Vancouver all time.
While we won’t get our first look at Hansen in teal, we may finally see the return of Joonas Donskoi. It seems he was close to returning against the Canucks back on Saturday but rumors of the flu kept him from making the trip. Donskoi last played on January 23 against the Colorado Avalanche.