On Monday January 19th. the Sharks will play host to the New Jersey Devils and you pal Ian is going to be Breaking It Down! This is your semi regular officially unofficial game preview post that gives you some quick numbers and my opinions on not only our Sharks but their opponent of the night.
Know Your Team - The San Jose Sharks
Current Record (W-L-OTL): 24-16-6, 54 Points and 2nd in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 5-4-1
Power Play: 21.1% (8th.)
Penalty Kill: 81.9% (13th.)
Current Streak: 1 game losing streak.
Notes: Sharks are ahead of Vancouver by a point but Vancouver once again has 3 games in hand.
Know Your Enemy - The New Jersey Devils
Current Record: (W-L-OTL): 16-22-8, 40 Points and 7th in the Metropolitan Division
Last 10 Games: 4-5-1
Power Play: 20.6% (9th.)
Penalty Kill: 79.0% (24th.)
Current Streak: 1 game losing streak
Notes: The question for the Devils is not if the playoffs are possible rather what draft position they might end up with.
Ian Breaks Down The Devils: The New Jersey Devils cannot catch a break. This is a team that in recent memory has lost an irreplaceable player in Kovalchuk to the KHL, Zach Parise in free agency and probably mismanaged the decline of easily hall of fame goaltender Martin Broduer. Behind the scenes they have had ownership issues as well. My opinion is that although Lou Lamoriello is a revered GM who will forget more about hockey than I'll never know, he may have been done one of the worst jobs adapting to the salary cap. This is a team that although the cupboard isn't bare I'd argue its nothing to write home about and has just a strange group of players that is eating up all by around 2 million in cap space according to NHL Numbers (which is the best I can do without cap geek.), however with most of that talent coming off the books after the 15/16 season it may be time for some fresh eyes. Tonight the Sharks will face Schneider who has not fared well against the Sharks thus far in his career, in 9 games he has 3 W, 5 L and 1 OTL with a scary 30 goals against, 3.55 GAA and .896 SV%. Unfortunately former Sharks Ryane Clowe will not be in the lineup tonight as he has been sidelined most of the year and it appears that Jagr will also not be playing as he is recovering from the flu.
Ian Breaks Down The Sharks: The San Jose Sharks are coming off a game where their effort was erratic shifting from non-existence to the Sharks we used to know back to non-existence. This uneven effort lost them a very valuable point in the pacific Division Race. The Sharks appear to be turning to Alex Stalock in goal tonight for his first start in a while and only his 11th of the season. While I don't think Niemi is in any danger of losing ice time it would be really nice to see Stalock have a good outing and validate the opinions of those who would like to have seen a goaltending competition rather than spit a few games and watch Nemo start the next 30. This is a game where the Sharks should be guaranteed points unfortunately this is the type of game the Sharks have left empty handed far too often this year.
My Prediction: Sharks win a much needed game in regulation and continue to challenge for the 2nd seed in the Pacific. Stalock shows why we had this garbage Nemo vs. Stalock thing start in the first place and everyone gets along.
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What are your thoughts on tonight's game?