But not every game can be against one of the league’s basement dwellers and tonight they’ll take on the Vancouver Canucks, who currently sit atop the Pacific Division with a four-game win streak. Among those four win is the 4-1 beating the Canucks put on the Sharks back in Vancouver prior to the All-Star break.
That said, the Canucks have been a middling team for most of the season and are largely taking advantage of a weaker division, especially with previously successful teams like Edmonton and Vegas now struggling to maintain their positions in the standings. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for the Sharks to run with some positive mojo as they sneak into the season’s second half.
Standing in their way may be starting Martin Jones, who typically sees a start in net in front of his hometown Canucks. I get that you don’t pay a guy $6 million to sit on your bench, but it’s a risky move against the top team in the division, given Jones losing his starting job in all but name to Aaron Dell since the changes made to the coaching staff earlier this season.
Expected Scratches: Antti Suomela, Tim Heed
Injured Reserve: Logan Couture (fractured ankle), Dalton Prout (upper body)
CANUCKS (via NHL.com)
J.T. Miller — Elias Pettersson — Jake Virtanen
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Loui Eriksson
Antoine Roussel — Adam Gaudette — Brock Boeser
Tyler Motte — Jay Beagle — Brandon Sutter
Alexander Edler — Troy Stecher
Quinn Hughes — Christopher Tanev
Oscar Fantenberg — Tyler Myers
Expected Scratches: Jordie Benn, Tim Schaller
Injured Reserve: Micheal Ferland (upper body), Josh Leivo (fractured knee cap), Tyler Graovac (lower body)
Where to Watch
Puck drop from SAP Center is at 7:30 PT/10:30 ET. Tonight’s broadcast will be available on NBC Sports California in the Bay Area and on SNP in the visitors’ market. Streaming will be available on NHLtv and ESPN+. The radio call will be on 98.5 KFOX or available to stream through the Sharks + SAP Center app.