Welcome to the next installment of the biggest game of the year. Pending the outcome of Vancouver-Colorado and Boston-Los Angeles, the winner of tonight’s game can jump up to the 8th spot in the Western Conference.
Both San Jose and Phoenix are 4-3-3 in their last ten games. While that’s a whole lot better for San Jose after a road filled, frustrating February, Phoenix is trying to right their ship that saw them go without a regulation loss in the same month. Team Teal has lost the last three meetings against the Desert Dogs since a dominating 6-3 victory to start the 2011-12 campaign.
Ray Whitney, who is the last remaining original Shark to play in the NHL, has had a stellar season. He has 31 points (9 goals, 22 assists) in his last 27 games. A player who has more points than Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau at the moment, will have to produce without Shane Doan, who is serving a three game suspension for an illegal hit against Dallas’ Jamie Benn.
As for Joe Thornton, he has score 59 points in 55 career games against Phoenix and has to lead this team to victory. While it is a team game, this is the leader of the organization. He has faced harsh criticism and seemed to erase most of it in the last two postseasons. If he or the franchise doesn’t want intense critiquing after the season, now is the roll up the sleeves and finally show some dominance. The same can be said for many on this team who have underachieved and disappointed this season. We all know this team is way better than their record, now they have to work even harder to get a chance to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The chance to play for the Cup relies on getting two points tonight in a special 7pm puck drop. LET’S PUCKING DO THIS!!!