San Jose Sharks (27-17-7) at Vancouver Canucks (28-18-3)
|Date & Time||Thursday February 5, 2015, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -130 / San Jose Sharks +118 --- Over/Under: 5
The Sharks look to stay ahead of the pack in the race in the Pacific division as they head into Vancouver to take on the Canucks and finish off their Western Canada road trip.
At the time of writing the Sharks are down 3-0 after 40 minutes in Calgary and if thigns stay the way they are the Sharks would have dropped both contests in Alberta and head into Vancouver to take on the Canucks having lost back to back games. San Jose has always been known as a streaky team and more often than not it has been on the upside instead of the down but when it matters most the Sharks have crumbled as we saw in last year's playoffs and they need to stop the bleeding in a much quicker fashion when they do get on these losing streaks. The Sharks did steal a point from the Oilers in the marathon shootout in what was a game they really had no business being in but they were handled by the Flames last night and now head into Vancouver to face off against one of the league's best goaltender in Ryan Miller who is sporting a very impressive record and has enjoyed a mutual renaissance in Vancouver this season. The Sharks will likely go back to Antii Niemi in this one as Alex Stalock got the call last night and he will have to be sharp if San Jose wants to rebound and grab the win.
The Canucks meanwhile sit just two points back of the Sharks heading into Thursday's game and while they have stumbled to a 5-5 record through their last 10 games they are very much in the mix in the Western Conference playoff picture and could very well lock up home ice advantage in the opening round. Vancouver has rebounded nicely this season after an absolute mess of a year last year but it is no surprise as they still have a boat load of talent and while one of their key pieces on the blue line in Kevin Bieksa is out of the lineup they have been able to make do and should pose a solid match up against San Jose. The Canucks are home favourites here and while the Sharks have played poorly in their last two they are getting great value here for a team that is two points up on its opponent but Vancouver will be the well rested group and should have the edge. However, with Niemi back in I think it gives the Sharks a boost and with he and Miller going toe to toe I think the best play in this one is on the under.