Monday, January 12, 2015

Breaking It Down! - Jan 12th, 2015

On Tuesday January 13th, the Sharks will travel to the desert to face the Arizona Coyotes and your pal Ian is going to Break It Down!!! BID is your officially unofficial preview post for upcoming sharks action that will be posted semi regular either they day of or day before the Sharks take to the ice.
Know Your Team: The Sharks (22-16-5, 49 pts. 3rd in the Pacific) are in the midst of a 2 game losing streak and have gone 4-5-1 in their last 10. They are in a dog fight with Canucks, Kings and Flames one of 2 non-wild card spots in the pacific as I don't think anyone is going to catch the Ducks. The Canucks have 3 games in hand on the Sharks (3 less games played) and the Kings have one. The Sharks Power Play is ranked 8th at 20.9% while their Penalty Kill is ranked 17th. at 80.7%
Know Your Enemy: The Coyotes (16-21-4, 36 pts. 6th in the Pacific) are struggling this year pretty badly and seem to have lost their identity somewhat they lost their last game and have gone 5-5-0 in their last 10 games. Usually known for a playing a stiff Dave Tippet defence, this team is currently sporting a goal differential of -39 only the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabers have a worse differential. They are lead in scoring by 2015 All Star Oliver Ekman-Larsson and a very hot Mikkel Boedker. Despite their record they have the 6th best power play in the league converting at a 21.8% rate, their penalty kill however is dead last at 74.6%. As of this writing I don't know who will start for sure but I expect it to be Mike Smith who has an 8-5-6 Career record vs. The Sharks. Devan Dubnyk is the backup and has a career 5-6-2 record against San Jose.
Ian's Pre-Game Thoughts:
- Am I the only one that still calls them Phoenix?
- This should go without saying but even though the Sharks have no fear of being caught by the coyotes in the standings this isn't a game they should take likely nor should they give any points away.
-This is a very good power play that the Sharks should not give too many opportunities at seeing ice time.
- I'll be interested to see if the lines that TMac used last game will continue. I think being on Jumbo's wing is the best way to try and get Marleau off this rut he has been in. Facing the worst PK in the league can only help Marleau as well since that top PP line for the Sharks has been fantastic since the return of Thornton looking very deadly regardless of actual goal scoring. They will need to be much better defensively though.
- Can Karlsson stay hot? His play has been one of the few bright spots in the teams play of late.
- I expect Antti Niemi will start in goal, he has been given the lions share of work so to me it's almost a foregone conclusion at this point and frankly I don't put a ton of blame on him for the Rangers game. For those wondering Niemi is 12-4-4 against the coyotes although he did lose his last start against them.
- Also note that if there is a Good, Bad and Ugly after this game it will probably not be written by me, so to all those who wanted to try their hand at it are going to have to fight to the death for the honour... or you could rotate it on games I can't do 
- Does anyone know where I can post these on the internet? I'll always keep posting them here without a link I was thinking more for archival purposes or when someone asks about a post after its long buried.
Will the Sharks get some much needed production from their top 6?
My Prediction: This should be just what the Dr. ordered for a struggling sharks team, a non-playoff team with the worst PK in the league. Unfortunately we also know the Sharks have a bad habit of playing down to their opponent so there is that to be concerned with. That all said this is a Sharks win in regulation.
Don't forget if you have any Sharks, NHL or just hockey related questions you can send them to, don't worry about being embarrassed I won't reveal who the question is from if that is preferred.
I hope you enjoyed the first of what I hope is many Breaking It Down's to follow, any ideas or suggestions or just general feedback would be awesome.
What are your storylines and thoughts going into the next game?

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