2013 NHL Playoffs: San Jose Sharks vs. Vancouver Canucks Series Preview

Harry How

The Sharks and Canucks start their series tonight, facing off for just the second time in the playoffs. The last meeting came in the 2011 Conference Finals, with Vancouver rolling to a 4-1 series victory. Both teams have had their share of playoff disappointments in recent years, and somebody will be going home early again in 2013. Who will it be?

The Numbers

The Sharks won the season series, 3-0 with one of those wins coming via the shootout. The Canucks finished two points better in the standings, and will have home ice in the series, having won the Northwest Division for the 5th straight season.

San Jose Sharks Vancouver Canucks
Record 25-16-7 11th 26-15-7 8th
GF/Game 2.42 24th 2.54 19th
GA/Game 2.33 6th 2.40 9th
5-on-5 SF/60 30.1 9th 27.7 18th
5-on-5 SA/60 28.0 12th 28.7 14th
Fenwick Close 52.41 9th 51.68 12th
5-on-5 Save % .927 8th .924 12th
5-on-4 GF/60 6.6 13th 5.1 21st
# of PP's/Gm 3.52 7th 3.438 12th
4-on-5 GA/60 5.1 6th 5.8 12th
# of PK's/Gm 3.06 7th 3.52 22nd

Key Players


Henrik Sedin

#33 / Center / Vancouver Canucks

6-2

188

Sep 26, 1980

G A P +/- PIM
2013 - Henrik Sedin 11 34 45 19 24

With 45 regular season and 71 career playoff points, the Canucks will need their all-time leading scorer to deliver if they want to advance.


Antti Niemi

#31 / Goalie / San Jose Sharks

6-2

210

Aug 29, 1983

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2012 - Antti Niemi 43 2581 24 12 93 2.16 1220 1127 .924 4

The Sharks' goalie finished tied for the league lead with 24 wins and posted 4 shutouts, one off the league lead. He'll have his hands full trying to keep the Canucks' talented forwards off the scoreboard.

Famous Current or Former Residents That May Alter Who You Root For

Vancouver

Michael J. Fox, Carly Rae Jepsen, Bryan Adams, Ryan Reynolds, 90210's Jason Priestly, Pamela Anderson, Ryan Kesler.

San Jose

"Screech" from Saved By the Bell, Nikki Sixx, World Champion Eater Joey Chestnut, "Sawyer" from Lost, Olympic ping-ponger Michelle Do, Smashmouth.

Point/Counterpoint From the SB Nation Crew

Why you should root for the Vancouver Canucks -Nucks Misconduct

Why you should root for the San Jose Sharks - Fear The Fin

Mascot Battle Royale



History of Violence

Steve Pinizzotto vs Andrew Desjardins Apr 1, 2013 (via hockeyfightsdotcom)

Potential Headlines if...

San Jose wins: "It's Vanc-OVER!"

Vancouver wins: "No Way, San Jose!"

You're welcome, traditional media.

OTF Staff Picks

Picks Winner Comment
Dirk Vancouver Kesler's return gives them ridiculous talent up front.
Sam San Jose Two perennial powerhouses field their weakest teams in a while. Neither team makes it out of the West.
Caroline Vancouver I haven't really paid much attention to either team this year, but San Jose always seems to choke. Nucks in 7.
Jonathan San Jose It will either be total dominance by Vancouver or a hard fought victory by SJ. Let's just go with the latter since that would be more fun to watch.
Chris Vancouver San Jose Sharks and playoffs go together as well as plaid and stripes. Nuckleheads in 5.
George Vancouver Steady coaching, four dangerous lines, competent defense, and, oh, Mr. Chickenwing himself is showing up just in time to cheat---er, "play" for the 'Nucks. Sharkies tank in 6.
Jason San Jose I'm a NorCal native, and I freaking hate the Canucks. Sharks in 7.

Sharks vs. Canucks Series Schedule

Date Time (CTL) Location TV
Wednesday, May 1 9:30 p.m. Vancouver TSN, NBC Sports Network
Friday, May 3 9:00 p.m. Vancouver TSN, CNBC
Sunday, May 5 9:00 p.m. San Jose NBC Sports Network, TSN
Tuesday, May 7 9:00 p.m. San Jose CNBC, TSN
*Thursday, May 9 9:00 p.m. Vancouver TSN
*Saturday, May 11 TBD San Jose TSN
*Monday, May 13 TBD Vancouver TSN
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