Saturday, March 7, 2015

Breaking It Down! - Mar 7th. 2015

On March 7th. 2015 the Sharks will host the Vancouver Canucks and your pal Ian is going to be Breaking It Down!  This is your official game preview blog of as well as the officially unofficial game preview post for anywhere else it finds itself posted. Its purpose is to give 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): 32-25-8, 72 Points and 5th in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 4-5-1
Power Play: 21.5% (5th.)
Penalty Kill: 79.6% (25th.)
Current Streak: Won 2
Notes: has our current chance to make the playoffs at 26.6%

Know Your Enemy - The Vancouver Canucks

Current Record: (W-L-OTL): 36-24-4, 76 Points and 2nd in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 5-4-1
Power Play: 17.8% (19th.)
Penalty Kill: 85.9% (3rd.)
Current Streak: Lost their last 3 previous game in a shootout.
Notes: has seen Vancouver's chance to make the playoff drop from around 95% to 86.2%.

Ian Breaks Down The Canucks:  The Vancouver Canucks are the only team in the playoff push to see their chances of making the playoffs actually fall which is of no surprise because of their regulation loss to the San Jose Sharks and their shootout loss to Arizona on the awesome space coyote night.  The Canucks have seen some reinforcements on the injury front as Burrows, Edler and Kassian have returned to their lineup however they are still missing Richardson, Tanev, Bieksa and starting goaltender Ryan Miller, if you're wondering why the Canucks have started a slight slide backwards look no further than that.  Eddie Lack will likely get the start who's only career action against the Sharks was in relief of Markstrom earlier in the week where he allowed 1 goal on 24 shots.  The Canucks penalty kill also got beaten up by the Sharks last game but it's one of the best in the league so the Sharks will need to rely on their 5 on 5 scoring just as much as they lean on their 5th best power play.

Ian Breaks Down The Sharks: So the Sharks are coming of a pretty lengthy break with obviously has its positives and takeaways.  The positives are that they should be rested and most of the other teams have used up their games in hand on team teal, the negatives are that since the Sharks have played last the teams they are in the hunt with for playoff spot (Wild 90.3%, Canucks 86.2%, Flames 82.8% and Los Angeles 61.5%) have earned all but 3 possible points up for grabs making the Sharks (26.6%) path to the playoffs that much harder.  The Sharks although should be rested but have to avoid starting the game with any rust.  The Sharks open a 4 game home stand tonight that will also feature 3 other all but guaranteed to make the playoffs in the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks this home stand will not end our playoff push either way but as the Sharks only have 7 home games remaining they need to make the most of them.  Important areas of focus tonight for the Sharks will be the faceoff circle where the Canucks dominated them in their last meeting this can't happen again, also they are probably not going to get spotted a 3 goal lead in the first 4 shots like last time.  Expect Antti Niemi to get the start he has been good in the Sharks last 2 wins and that play must continue. 

Mail Bag:

Q: Ian, when Slava Voynov was charged with assault on his partner the league suspended him indefinitely while Mike Ribeiro is being sued for sexual assault and still gets to play.  What's the deal? Is it because Ribeiro is Canadian and Voynov is Russian?

A: Good question, First thing I need to get out of the way is that while the hockey media or at least certain members of it (Don Cherry, Mike Milbury for example) really like to take shots at non-North American players the league itself is pretty consistent in dealing with all players when it comes to discipline if you look at nationality at home so I don't think this is the good old boys club looking out for the Canadian guy.  The biggest difference between these 2 cases is the fact that one is a criminal charge where Voynov was arrested and pending a criminal court case where he could do real time and be deported where the Ribeiro case is a civil suit which boils down to a more he said, she said that will most likely be settled out of court without an admission of guilt.   If this was a criminal case where there the DA felt they had sufficient evidence to go to trial I have no doubt in my mind Ribeiro is suspended pending the outcome of the trial much like Slava Voynov is today.

Hope that answers your question.

My Prediction: Sharks come out flatter than a pancake but prevail because letting the Canucks go up on them by 6 points is not an option.

Remember if you have a question you would like me to answer in the Breaking It Down blog please e-mail me at, 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
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What are your thoughts on this upcoming game?

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