San Jose Sharks Vs. Vancouver Canucks: A Rivalry To Remember

Sep 22, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (88) defends against Vancouver Canucks forward Hunter Shinkaruk (48) during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 22, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (88) defends against Vancouver Canucks forward Hunter Shinkaruk (48) during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports /
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San Jose will play three of their next four games against Vancouver as they play the first of five contests tonight.

We have gone this far into the season and the San Jose Sharks have yet to play the Vancouver Canucks. Since many fans don’t remember what a Canucks jersey looks like, I thought a reminder of what this rivalry was is necessary to viewing the first Sharks-Canucks game in more than a year.

It all started in 2011. Before that no one was aware Vancouver existed. After all, America is so large and the Sharks were too busy hanging banners from the roof of the SAP Center. Life was going great until a stanchion had to butt in and ruin everything. After being robbed of a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, suddenly, Sharks fans were aware of the Canucks.

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But as fate would have it, the Sharks and Canucks would meet in the first round in 2013. This was a series for the ages as fan-favorite Raffi Torres would lead the Sharks to their first sweep in franchise history. To make things better, Vancouver drafted a pretty good prospect in Hunter Shinkaruk courtesy of the team they just demolished. What a time to be alive.

Fast forward to today where this rivalry is even more hilarious.

Led by stud defenseman Luca Sbisa and face-of-the franchise Jake Virtanen, the Canucks are taking the NHL by storm. In fact, the Canucks don’t need much support outside of those two, Virtanen and Sbisa are all they need to move the needle in the right direction. I’m sure Jim Benning will turn this team into a Stanley Cup contender in no time.

Though in all seriousness, the Canucks are very, very bad. If the Sharks don’t win this upcoming season series they don’t deserve a playoff berth. But on the other hand if the Sharks lose tonight, the Canucks might buy at Monday’s trade deadline. So with that in mind, today’s game is an interesting one to watch.

Heading into tonight’s matchup, San Jose holds a 10-point cushion over Vancouver, but they have now fallen eight points behind Los Angeles atop the division.

Regardless of what happens, we should look for how the Sharks respond to playing the same team multiple times in such a short span.

Next: Sharks Redeem Themselves With Reimer Trade

Team Stats at even-strength

Vancouver Canucks/San Jose Sharks

Goals For/60: 1.90 (27th)/2.28 (7th)

Goals Against/60: 2.09 (15th)/2.13 (18th)

Shots For/60: 27.5 (24th)/28.3 (17th)

Shots Against/60: 29.9 (21st)/25.9 (1st)

Fenwick For %: 47.5% (26th)/52.3% (6th)

Corsi For %: 47.1% (27th)/50.8% (13th)

PDO: 99.9 (15th)/99.9 (16th)