It’s only halfway through November, but once the Canucks and Sharks finish their game tonight in Vancouver, they won’t see each other until either the playoffs or next season.
Indeed, the two Pacific Division rivals have already met three times in 2013-14, with the Sharks winning the first two and the Canucks taking the last contest a week ago in San Jose.
Though both teams are in a playoff position in the tough Western Conference, neither has been playing particularly well of late. The Sharks have just one win in their six; the Canucks have dropped two straight in regulation and have gained only five points in their last six outings.
As noted in The Province, much of the Canucks’ struggles can be traced to the Sedins’ mini-slump.
“I don’t think we played good enough. That’s the bottom line,” said Henrik Sedin, who centers the first line with brother, Daniel, and Ryan Kesler. “We didn’t get enough chances. We could have scored a goal here or there. If you don’t create enough chances, you’re not going to get those goals. We have to get back to how we were playing earlier.”
Vancouver’s power play could be better, too.
As for the Sharks, they’re hoping they can use last Thursday’s loss — their first to the Canucks after beating them nine straight times — as motivation.
“We were thoroughly beaten [last Thursday],” said coach Todd McLellan, per CSN Bay Area. “There was a little more battle in the Canucks than there was in us. We didn’t get our noses over pucks when we had to, and we really didn’t establish our game at all. That, and a couple real game-changing errors that you’d like to clean up a bit.”