Canucks had edge over Sharks in regular season

Canucks had edge over Sharks in regular season

May 13, 2011


Kevin Kurz

Although the Canucks and Sharks finished 1-2 in the Western Conference standings, Vancouver managed to go undefeated in regulation against San Jose in the four-game season series. The teams also played one of the more memorable regular season games of the year when they last met on March 10 at HP Pavilion.

A quick look at the numbers shows that the Sedin twins, Daniel (6 points) and Henrik (5 points), led the Canucks in scoring against the Sharks. Dany Heatley tallied a goal and three assists for San Jose, while Ryane Clowe was the only Shark to score more than once against Vancouver over the four games (3g).

Antti Niemi played every minute of every game against the Canucks, a team in which he helped eliminate from the playoffs last season in the second round when he was with Chicago. Niemis 3.64 goals-against average and .896 save percentage are nothing to write home about, but much of the damage came during a 6-1 blowout by Vancouver the day after Thanksgiving.

Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider each started twice against San Jose, and Luongo allowed just two goals in 125 minutes of play for a stellar 0.96 GAA against San Jose.

Heres a brief, game-by-game look at what transpired during the year between the Western Conference Finalists.

November 26, 2010
Canucks 6, Sharks 1

In their first meeting of the season, Vancouver scored five unanswered goals in cruising to a 6-1 win over the Sharks at Rogers Arena. Mikael Sanuelsson led the way with two goals, while Luongo stopped 32 shots. At the time, it was just the Canucks third win over San Jose in their previous 13 meetings. It was also the most goals the Canucks had scored against the Sharks in almost 10 years.

REWIND: Niemi battered, Sharks routed by Canucks

Heatley scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who dropped their fourth out of five games. Niemi allowed all six Canucks goals on 32 shots faced, while Luongo stopped 32 of 33 San Jose shots.

January 3, 2011
Canucks 4, Sharks 3

In a much more evenly played game than the first meeting, Alex Burrows scored the tie-breaking goal in the third period of a see-saw affair to give the Canucks the 4-3 win at HP Pavilion. It was Vancouvers first win in San Jose since April 7, 2007.

Daniel Sedin, Alexander Edler and Jannik Hansen also scored for the Canucks, who won for the 15th time in 18 games. Clowe, Patrick Marleau and Jamal Mayers were the goal scorers for the Sharks. Mayers gave San Jose a 3-2 lead with just 4:39 left in regulation, but Hansen tied it up with 1:25 remaining.

REWIND: Sharks can't slow down Canucks, fall 4-3

Schneider was the winning goalie for the Canucks make 32 saves, while Niemi stopped 43.

January 20, 2011
Sharks 2, Canucks 1 (SO)

The Sharks lone win in the season series came courtesy of Joe Pavelskis goal in the shootout at Rogers Arena. The Canucks got the early lead thanks to a goal by Henrik Sedin, before Logan Couture tied it during a second period in which the Sharks outshot the Canucks, 25-9. That was all of the scoring in regulation, though, while Pavelski was the only player able to convert in the shootout.

The Sharks were a bit fortunate to get out of overtime alive, as Dan Boyle took a bad penalty in the extra session when he punched Ryan Kesler and was sent to the box on a roughing call.

REWIND: Sharks win hard-fought battle with Canucks in SO

The win was San Joses fourth in the row, and came while they were in the midst of a 9-0-1 run. Niemi picked up the victory with 36 saves, while Luongo took the hard-luck loss after making 45 saves.

March 10, 2011
Canucks 5, Sharks 4 (SO)

In one of the most entertaining games of the regular season, the Sharks and Canucks played a game befitting the top two teams in the Western Conference when they last met.

The Canucks led 3-2 after two periods, but the Sharks Torrey Mitchell tied the game with his goal at 17:47 of the third. Daniel Sedin responded for Vancouver when his goal just 24 seconds later gave the Canucks their lead back. No matter, as Clowe capped a wild final few minutes of regulation with a tip-in of a Joe Thornton shot to send it to overtime.

REWIND: Instant classic -- Canucks top Sharks in shootout

Once again, though, the game would have to be decided by a shootout. Burrows was the only player able to convert on his opportunity, giving the Canucks the extra point in the standings. Niemi was the goalie of record once again for the Sharks, while Schneider picked up in the win in net for Vancouver.

NBA Gameday: Kings in Big Apple, look to slow down Porzingis, Knicks

NBA Gameday: Kings in Big Apple, look to slow down Porzingis, Knicks

The Sacramento Kings hit the Big Apple Sunday evening in hopes of snapping their two-game losing streak. Standing in there way is a rebuilt and reinvigorated New York Knicks team.

DeMarcus Cousins had his four-game streak of games with 30 or more points snapped Friday night. He finished the game with 28, but he missed a two-minute stretch in the mid-fourth quarter with a cut next to his right eye that required eight stitches after the loss to the Celtics.

New York is coming off back-to-back wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves and they are 7-3 over their last 10. Carmelo Anthony leads the way, averaging 22.6 points per game, but second-year big Kristaps Porzingis and veteran Derrick Rose are both posting big numbers under head coach Jeff Hornacek.

Knicks by 2

Rudy Gay vs. Carmelo Anthony -- These two grew up in the same area of Maryland and know each other very well. After a quick start to the season, Gay’s numbers have dropped over Sacramento’s last eight games. He comes in averaging 19.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in 34.7 minutes per game. Anthony hasn’t showed any signs of slowing in year 14. The 11-time All-Star is a tough cover and Gay will have his hands full.

Kings: 7-12, fourth place in Pacific

Knicks: 10-9, third place in Atlantic

Kings: No injuries to report.

Knicks: C Joakim Noah (ankle) questionable, Courtney Lee (ankle) questionable.

Sacramento swept the Knicks last year 2-0 in the season series. The Kings hold a 153-142 advantage over the Knicks all-time, but New York leads 33-29 during the Sacramento-era.

“If we don’t figure this thing out, we’re going to continue to have these types of games and just another losing season.” -DeMarcus Cousins following the Kings loss in Boston on Friday night

Suns' Watson counters Kerr, preaches caution with marijuana rhetoric

Suns' Watson counters Kerr, preaches caution with marijuana rhetoric

While players like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Bogut offered support for Steve Kerr on Saturday, one NBA coach wants to pump the breaks on the conversation surrounding marijuana use.

Suns coach Earl Watson preached caution during an interview with ESPN after the Warriors beat Phoenix 138-109 on Saturday night.

"I think our rhetoric on it has to be very careful because you have a lot of kids where I'm from that's reading this, and they think [marijuana use is] cool. It's not cool. Where I'm from, you don't get six fouls to foul out. You get three strikes. One strike leads to another. I'm just being honest with you, so you have to be very careful with your rhetoric," Watson told Chris Haynes.

Watson doesn't appear to be a fan of Kerr advocating for the use of marijuana.

"I think it would have to come from a physician -- not a coach. And for me, I've lived in that other life [of crime and drugs]. I'm from that area, so I've seen a lot of guys go through that experience of using it and doing other things with that were both illegal. And a lot of those times, those guys never make it to the NBA, they never make it to college, and somehow it leads to something else, and they never make it past 18," Watson told Haynes.

Watson highlighted a potential problem of leagues legalizing the use of marijuana.

"So when we really talk about it and we open up that, I call it that slippery slope. We have to be very careful on the rhetoric and how we speak on it and how we express it and explain it to the youth," Watson said.

Watson finished the interview with a message for the kids who might have been emboldened by Kerr's comments.

"I've never been a fan of the use, but I'm also not a medical doctor. So for the kids who are reading this and they might take the headlines and run with it, don't run anywhere with it. Understand that if you're from an environment or social area where a lot of luck and a lot of blessings is your only way out, you cannot risk that opportunity ever. Ever. It's just the way it is. It's not the same everywhere. I don't know as far as the pain [and how marijuana could help], but I think we have to be careful how we present that to the public," Watson said.