San Jose Sharks vs. New York Rangers Preview and Analysis
We’re only a few hours away from puck drop in San Jose, and the Sharks prep to host the Rangers at the Shark Tank. San Jose is looking to win its third consecutive game, while the Rangers are coming in off of a strong showing against the Los Angeles Kings last night.
Keys to Victory for San Jose
The big concern for the Sharks going into their game against the Phoenix Coyotes on October 5 was getting the power play going. It had gone 0-for-8 in the home opener against the Vancouver Canucks and needed to get that part of the special teams play on the rails quickly. After that initial abysmal showing, the Sharks have battled back to a 16% conversion rate on the man-advantage.
Nothing too crazy, but at least there are some goals there.
The Rangers played in L.A. last night, and the Kings did what they usually do. They took the body and were tough to play against. While the Blueshirts came away with the victory, it’s very likely that they’ll be tired. As such, coming out with energy and purpose is a must for the Sharks.
Peppering Henrik Lundqvist early and often will be key, and getting bodies to the net will be (as usual) vital to San Jose’s success. The offensive depth that the Sharks have been showing off lately needs to continue to roll, and a big name getting on the score board wouldn’t hurt matters either.
Three Players to Watch for San Jose
- Antti Niemi will be fired up as he takes on Lundqvist, who many consider to be the most outstanding goaltender in the NHL these days. Niemi has been strong so far, but don’t be surprised if you see him standing on his head a bit more than usual as he duels with the man they call King.
- Joe Thornton has yet to find the back of the net in this young season. Tomas Hertl has been doing all the heavy lifting for the top line, and his success has overshadowed Thornton’s mild lack of production to this point. A two-point outing from the Captain would give San Jose yet another layer of offense moving forward.
- Dan Boyle hasn’t scored yet either and he’s been very, very quiet through the first two games of the season. For San Jose’s power play to become dangerous, Boyle needs to be a more dynamic presence on the blue line.
No new injuries to report for the Sharks. Martin Havlat and Adam Burish are all still on the mend. The Sharks will get a boost on defense as Brad Stuart returns after missing the first two games due to injury. Raffi Torres is also out for the foreseeable future.
For the Rangers, the only missing piece is Carl Hagelin. He’s on the IR and could make his return soon, but it won’t be tonight.