Sharks-Canucks: In the Crease

Kevin and Brodie: Canucks declining, Sharks rising

Sharks-Canucks: In the Crease
October 3, 2013, 9:30 am
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Tommy Wingels (above) will start as a third-line winger with Joe Pavelski and Matt Nieto. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Programming note 
Sharks-Canucks coverage gets underway today at 6:30 p.m., only on Comcast SportsNet California

Where they stand
Sharks: 0-0-0, 0 points
Canucks: 0-0-0, 0 points

Probable lines

Sharks

Tyler Kennedy – Logan Couture – Patrick Marleau
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Matt Nieto – Joe Pavelski – Tommy Wingels
James Sheppard – Andrew Desjardins – Matt Pelech

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle
Jason Demers – Scott Hannan

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Canucks

Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Alex Burrows
Chris Higgins – Ryan Kesler – Jannik Hansen
David Booth – Brad Richardson – Mike Santorelli
Tom Sestito – Zac Dalpe – Dale Weise

Dan Hamhuis – Kevin Bieksa
Alex Edler – Jason Garrison
Chris Tanev – Ryan Stanton

Roberto Luongo
Eddie Lack

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Tomas Hertl. The Sharks 2012 first round draft pick will make his NHL debut on Thursday, playing on a top line with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns. The Sharks already down a forward in Raffi Torres, Hertl will have to be a key ingredient to the Sharks’ offense. He had three goals and an assist in four preseason games.

[RELATED: Sharks look to correct one glaring weakness]

Canucks: Ryan Kesler. The Canucks’ feisty and highly skilled forward enters the season as the team’s second line center. On a team with a very top-heavy offense in which depth looks to be an issue, Kesler will have to remain healthy and have a monster year in order for Vancouver to remain competitive.

Injuries

Sharks: Raffi Torres (right ACL surgery), Marty Havlat (offseason pelvic surgery), and Adam Burish (lower body), and Brad Stuart (lower body) are out.

Canucks: Jordan Schroeder (broken left foot), and Zack Kassian (suspension) are out.

Season series/history

The Sharks won all three games of the season series with the Canucks, and all four first round playoff games in the first-ever franchise series sweep. The Canucks have not beaten the Sharks in the regular season or playoffs since Jan. 21, 2012.

All-time, the Sharks are 41-42-9-5 against Vancouver, including a 22-9-5-4 mark at home.

Quoteable

There is some youth involved, and I still think the core guys are in the prime of their careers. I like the balance, and I said that word about a thousand times last year. I just like the balance of our team moving forward.” – Dan Boyle

Burning question

Which three Pacific Division teams will earn automatic playoff bids? Leave your answer in the comments section below.