On January 29th. the Sharks will play host to The Anaheim Ducks 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): 25-17-6, 56 Points and 2nd in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 5-4-1
Power Play: 21.4% (7th.)
Penalty Kill: 81.5% (16th.)
Current Streak: 1 game winning streak.
Notes: Sharks are ahead of Vancouver by a point but Vancouver has 2 games in hand.
Know Your Enemy - The Anaheim Ducks
Current Record: (W-L-OTL): 32-10-6, 70 Points and 1st in the Pacific as well as the NHL
Last 10 Games: 8-2-0
Power Play: 18.0% (17th.)
Penalty Kill: 80.9% (18th.)
Current Streak: 6 game winning streak
Notes: I don't think the ducks can be caught for the Pacific lead unless they have a meltdown of epic proportions.
All statistics were as of this writing.
Ian Breaks Down The Ducks: I said my game preview for the game against the Kings that the Sharks had plenty in common with their So-Cal rivals. The same is true for the Ducks in my opinion. Now before I get started yes I understand that the Ducks won a cup but that team is very different than the one they have now. That said the similarities I see with the Ducks and Sharks is that much like the Sharks teams of recent memory (although not this year) The Ducks are a team that seems to roar through the regular season only to find its kryptonite in the early rounds of the playoffs. The Vegas odds would have you believe this is a true Stanley Cup Contender until they can beat the Kings or Blackhawks in the playoffs I just don't see this team as a real threat. Is that just sour grapes on my part as a Sharks fan perhaps but it just feels like something is missing from this team that is needed to put them over the hump and I can't quite put my finger on it. This year specifically though the Ducks have done really well considering that they were hit really hard by the mumps and losing Perry for a significant amount of time. Where the injuries have hurt them is on special teams where they are below league average in PP and PK.
Ian Breaks Down The Sharks: The Sharks are coming off of what just may be their best performance of the year with a big win over their rivals in the LA Kings. Prior to the game they had been called out by head coach T-Mac who I hope challenge them again because I'm concerned about a loss of momentum caused by the all star break I'm also worried because we have seen solid Shark efforts that give you hope that this team is not more cup contender rather than pretender only to have leave you disappointed. It's all about consistancy now for the Sharks who are going to have to continue to get things done with a thin blue line as Braun will still be out. The forwards are also going to be short a few regular bodies as Wingels continues to nurse a broken hand while Tyler Kennedy who seems to be trying to fill the hole in the lineup left by Havlat as he continues to keep the seats in the IR warm, as of this writing I'm not sure what the actual issue is. Initially there was no reason given for the lack of Kennedy at practice and I was kind of hoping that he was on the trade block. I think TK has been good this year but overall his time as a Shark has been less than stellar so it may have been an opportunity to sell high. The sharks should also be welcoming back Mirco Mueller to the lineup for the first time since the WJC, as well as Hertl and Goodrow will rejoin the team after all star break in Worcester in what may have been the biggest non-story made a story this year. Look for Antti Niemi to start in goal.
My Prediction: Sharks Win look dominant and then get shelled 8-0 against Edmonton.
I'm thinking of branching out into some general NHL blogs when I get bored, if that is something you would like to read let me know.
Remember if you have a question you would like me to answer in the Breaking It Down blog please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you want to read previous blogs please check out http://ianblogssharks.blogspot.ca
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game?