On February 18th. the Sharks will visit The Dallas Stars and your 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): 29-22-8, 66 Points and 5th in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 3-5-2
Power Play: 21.1% (7th.)
Penalty Kill: 80.4% (20th.)
Current Streak: 2 game losing streak
Notes: The Sharks are 9-4-1 against the central division this year, It's arguably the best division in hockey.
Know Your Enemy - The Dallas Stars
Current Record: (W-L-OTL): 27-22-8, 62 Points and 6th in the Central Division
Last 10 Games: 6-3-1
Power Play: 17.5% (21st.)
Penalty Kill: 79.8% (21st.)
Current Streak: Won their last game.
Notes: Sticking with the same theme the Stars a scary 10-2-1 vs. Pacific Division teams.
Ian Breaks Down The Stars: The Stars are a team I expected so much more from when the season opened, I thought the acquisition of Spezza and Ales Hemsky would give them maybe one of the best 1-2 punches in the league but the problem with Dallas has always been that they have a mediocre at best defense and while the injured Seguin and Benn continue to score a ton of points, Spezza has had an OK season while Hemsky has had one to forget. Back to the defense they have some nice pieces but really lack an elite top pairing guy, Alex Gologoski can put the puck in the net, former Shark Demers can when he wants too and Trevor Daley is a good but again don't rank anywhere near the elite in the NHL. To me this is the game you start Alex Stalock instead of Nashville. Losing Seguin makes their most recent push look very much like too little too late but with how tight the western race is you probably shouldn't stick a fork in them yet but of all the teams in the race this is your big money long shot. Kari Lehtonen never really lived up to his draft position but is still a serviceable goaltender who despite a rough start is a big part of the reason that the Stars were able to start a late season push even though most people left them for dead. His career record against the Sharks is 5-7-3, 3.30 GAA and .908 SV%.
Ian Breaks Down The Sharks: The Sharks are in a world of trouble and it's their own doing. Everyone they are competing with for playoff spots in the Pacific has at least a game in hand if not more, the suddenly surging Minnesota Wild are a point behind them with 2 games in hand. Of course if the Sharks can fight their way back into the top 3 the Wild can get as many points as they want and it won't affect the Sharks but the central division could potentially steal both of the wild card seeds. As of now the Sharks sit outside the playoffs as hated rivals the LA Kings moved into the last playoff seed and show no signs of slowing down. To say shit just got real is an understatement. Now lets not get too down on the team just because they are outside looking on based on a tie breaker they are going to need help from other teams but most importantly they have to start helping themselves which means that winning 3 out of 10 is unacceptable, sure they gained 2 loser points a long the way but which helps, but getting another 8 points in 10 games is a sure way to be watching the playoffs instead of being in the playoffs. I thought the Sharks really threw some gasoline on the Niemi trade rumors by not having him play last game they now will hit those rumors with a fire hose somewhat with a start tonight. Niemi has a career record of 9-4-5, 2.28 GAA and .920 SV% vs. the Stars.
My Prediction: The Sharks in their excitement to play the outdoor game forget they even have a game in Dallas tonight and lose by forfeit as they tailgate outside Levis Stadium.
I got a great question (as always) but the answer would have made this a huge read but if you missed it you can find it here: http://ianblogssharks.blogspot.ca/2015/02/q-feb-18th-2015.html
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, unless you ask I will not post who asked the question so don't worry about how stupid you think the question may be because to me there is no such thing.
If you want to read previous blogs please check out http://ianblogssharks.blogspot.ca
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game?