It’s never too early for a measuring stick game and the Vancouver Canucks will play one out tonight.
The Canucks, riding a three-game winning streak, host the San Jose Sharks in the second of three consecutive home games; Vancouver has reeled off back-to-back overtime wins coming in and are looking to carry that momentum into a tilt with the Sharks.
Vancouver’s single loss this season came in its season opener in San Jose and the Sharks haven’t let up, winning all three of their games to open the 2013-14 campaign.
“San Jose is a good team and they’ve had our number so we want to make sure we get the two points tonight,” said Jason Garrison, who enters tonight’s game on a career-high four-game point streak, currently leading all NHL defencemen in points with five (2-3-5).
Garrison was the lone Canucks player to beat Sharks netminder Antti Niemi in a 4-1 loss to the Sharks on October 3rd.
“You can’t give them a lot of time and space out there, they’ve got a lot of skill and good players and they’ll make you pay for it,” said Garrison, adding the Canucks are becoming more at ease with John Tortorella’s new systems every game.
“Everyday is more comfortable, for everybody here it’s an adjustment, but the biggest thing for everybody is making sure we go out there and play aggressively and work hard and that’s what we’re doing.”
As for defending against Sharks upstart rookie Tomas Hertl, who tied a Sharks franchise record scoring four goals in a 9-2 win over the New York Rangers two nights ago, Garrison is looking forward to the challenge.
“He can put the puck in the back of the net. For us, we’ve got to make sure we play his stick and get it out of his hands as soon as possible.”
Roberto Luongo gets the start in net for the Canucks, he’s 2-1-0 in three games with a 2.63 goals against average and .901 save percentage.