The NHL is set up with a total of three games on the board for Monday night. To finish the night, the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks will meet up in a Pacific Division rivalry. These two teams are still in the thick of the playoff race, which should lead to a good rivalry game on Monday night. This game is set to drop the puck at 10 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
San Jose has been really hot as of late and they have made a jump up in the standings. The Sharks have gone 33-16-7 this season, which has them in second place of the Pacific Division. San Jose has won five games in a row and twelve of their last fifteen games. The Sharks winning streak has helped them hop up in the standings, so they are now only one point down from the Calgary Flames, who are in first place of the Western Conference.
The Canucks have earned a record of 25-24-7 this season, which has them in fourth place of the Pacific Division. Vancouver is coming off a really nice win against the Calgary Flames, but have lost three of their last four games. The Canucks are two points behind the St. Louis Blues for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Vancouver will look to tie up the Blues with a win in front of their home fans against San Jose.
Monday night’s matchup between the Sharks and the Canucks will be the second game of the season series. San Jose and Vancouver will meet two more times on February 16 and April 2. The Sharks have dominated the Canucks recently, but these two teams are competing in the Western Conference this season, which should help lead to a good season series.
The Sharks and the Canucks met up a total of five times last season. San Jose earned a point in all five games, going 4-0-1 in their five games. The Sharks outscored Vancouver 22-12 in those five games. San Jose went on to make a playoff run, while the Canucks finished near the bottom of the standings. Vancouver has been much more competitive this season.
The first game of this season’s series was hosted by San Jose on November 23. Erik Karlsson had a really solid night as he scored a goal and added an assist. Kevin Labanc and Joe Thornton each added two assists in the Sharks win. Aaron Dell was not tested much, but was able to turn away all 19 shots he faced to give San Jose a 4-0 win at home.
The Sharks have dominated Vancouver over this season and last season. San Jose has gone 5-0-1 against the Canucks and outscored Vancouver 26-12. The Canucks have been much more competitive this season and I believe that they have a chance to pull off the win at home on Monday night.
San Jose only has one major injury in their lineup, but it is a key player. Erik Karlsson has missed the last few games and he may miss Monday night’s matchup as well. Karlsson has picked up his play a lot as of late and has 3 goals and 43 points in 47 games. Karlsson plays a key role in the lineup and if he misses again it would hurt the Sharks in the rivalry matchup.
The Canucks are missing two solid skaters in their lineup in Sven Baertschi and Alexander Edler. Both players have been missing since February 4. Baertschi has 8 goals and 13 points in 22 games this season, while Edler has 5 goals and 20 points in 38 games. Vancouver is also missing goalie Thatcher Demko as he is on injured reserve with a knee sprain.
Both teams are missing some important players, but I believe that the Sharks are hurting much more with Karlsson out. The Canucks depth is hurting, but Vancouver was still able to pull off a tough win against the Calgary Flames in their last matchup.
I believe that Martin Jones will get the nod in net on Monday night. Jones has not been doing well in comparison to the Sharks success this season, posting a save percentage of .899 and a 2.90 GAA. He has a record of 26-10-4 in his starts this season. Jones will need to put up some solid numbers if San Jose wants to get the win on the road.
Jacob Markstrom will likely start in net for the Canucks on Monday night. Markstrom has earned a record of 21-15-6 in his 42 starts this season. He has put up a .910 save percentage and a GAA of 2.81 this season. Markstrom has put up pretty solid numbers in net for Vancouver this season. He will look to help give the Canucks the upset at home.
These two goalies have played well for their respective teams this season, but Markstrom has put up the better numbers this season. Jones has not put up the best numbers this season, but San Jose does a good job limiting the shots from opposing teams. If the Canucks can get a good amount of shots past the Sharks defense, I believe that they could pull off the upset.
San Jose is coming into Monday night’s matchup playing really well as of late. The Sharks have won five games in a row and have beat Vancouver in ten of their last eleven matchups. I believe that the Canucks can earn a rare victory over San Jose. If the Sharks are missing Karlsson for Monday night’s matchup, it could give Vancouver a really good chance to pull off the upset. Markstrom has been posting better numbers in comparison to Jones this season, which could help give them the edge.
BetOnline has San Jose listed as a -153 against the money line on Monday night. The Sharks are implied to win this game around 60.5 percent of the time. I believe that this is a bit big since the game is being hosted by the Canucks. This gives a lot of value to the Canucks as home underdogs. I like Vancouver’s chance to pull off the win on home ice.