Jan. 21, 2012, was the last time Vancouver managed to defeat San Jose. Since then, the Sharks have beaten the Canucks four times in the regular season, four times in the playoffs, and just for good measure, a pair of times in the preseason.
That makes 10 wins in a row for San Jose. Eight, if you don’t count the preseason. But 10 makes for a better story.
Tonight in Vancouver, the two Pacific Division rivals will meet again, with both sides off to good starts to the 2013-14 season. The Sharks are a perfect 3-0-0 and just embarrassed the Rangers, 9-2. The Canucks have won three straight to move to 3-1-0, their only loss coming to — oh that’s right, San Jose — in the season-opener.
True to form, Vancouver head coach John Tortorella told reporters this morning that he’s focused on his team, not the opponent. (Which if you haven’t heard has beaten the Canucks 10 times in a row. Eight, if you don’t count the preseason.)
“We’re not going to change a whole bunch,” he said, per CSN Bay Area. “There are some faceoff tendencies and special teams is something that we certainly focus on with the other teams because of tendencies there. Other than that, when you’re playing different teams, it’s more important, at least in my mind, to worry about our execution.”
But even Tortorella must know that Sharks forwards Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture have feasted on the Canucks in recent meetings. He must also know that shutting down those two still leaves the likes of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and, of course, Tomas Hertl.
Tortorella, by the way, said he hadn’t seen Hertl’s between-the-legs goal (the one that Adam Oates didn’t particularly care for.)
“Everybody’s talking about the goal, and I haven’t seen it,” Tortorella said.
“I’m not going to comment on another team’s player. It’s not fair, one way or another. But, I haven’t even seen the play.”
Update: Get a load of what Joe Thornton said he’d do if he ever scored four goals in a game. (Warning: adult content)