The NHL playoffs begin this week with a bevvy of intriguing opening-round series. A seven-game set out west between the third-seeded Vancouver Canucks and sixth-seeded San Jose takes center stage.
The Sharks and Canucks rekindle a rivalry that features a recent conference finals thriller. Both teams battle for Stanley Cup supremacy following a lockout-shortened season, and there are several factors that should ultimately determine which squad survives and advances in the wildly contentious Western Conference bracket.
These teams are set to become division rivals when NHL realignment goes into effect. This series should will set the tone for future matchups and add a spark to a burgeoning rivalry.
Here's a look at how the Sharks and Canucks stack up against each other.