The Vancouver Canucks are on a one-game road trip to California where they will try to escape “The Shark Tank” with a win over the San Jose Sharks.
The Canucks are coming off a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. In that game, Thatcher Demko made 51 saves.
This game was supposed to happen on December 21 but it got postponed due to COVID-19 outbreaks across the league. These two teams last met on December 16 and the Canucks won 5-2 in San Jose. This is the second meeting of the season between Vancouver and San Jose and they meet again one more time on April 9 at Rogers Arena.
With a 22-21-6 record, Vancouver sits sixth in the Pacific division with 50 points. That is two ahead of San Jose. The Canucks also sit five points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the final wild card spot.
The Sharks last played on Monday and they were shutout 3-0 at home by Stuart Skinner and the Edmonton Oilers. They have a 22-21-4 record.
For the Canucks, Quinn Hughes returns to the lineup after missing the past three games because he was placed into the COVID protocol.
“I was in Michigan and skated with my dad and he runs a mean skate so it was good,” said Hughes on how he stayed active once he left protocol.
He also said he wasn’t experiencing any symptoms.
Matthew Highmore is also off the COVID protocol and will be back in the lineup against the Sharks.
“I was super excited,” said Highmore on returning to the team after Wednesday’s practice. “Didn’t sleep really well last night because I just couldn’t wait.”
Since Bruce Boudreau took over as Canucks head coach in December, they have had the fewest goals against per game and the highest team save percentage in the NHL. This is definitely due to stellar goaltending from Demko who is likely to get the start.
Travis Hamonic returned to the lineup against the Maple Leafs and if he plays Thursday night, it will be his first road game of the season and his first game in the US since January 7, 2020 when he was a member of the Calgary Flames.
Here is how the Sharks will line up. It looks like former Canucks prospect Jonah Gadjovich will be a healthy scratch.
Players to watch
Vancouver Canucks- Brock Boeser- Boeser has five points, and three goals in his last five games. Can he add some more against the Sharks? (He was also been brought up in the trade rumour department by Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff. We will have an article on that in the coming days.)
San Jose Sharks- Timo Meier- Meier leads the Sharks with 47 points in 42 games and is second on the team in goals with 21. He had a five goal game against the Kings on January 17.
Puck drop is at 7:30 PM. You can watch the game on Sportsnet Pacific or listen to it on Sportsnet 650.