Your Sharks take to the road for the first 2 out of their 3 games this week against two familiar Western Conference foes, the Blues and the Stars. They then are back in the Bay for the return of T.J. Galiardi and his new team, the Flames. This should be an exciting week for Sharks hockey, but also a tough one. The Blues and Flames are two highly ranked Western Conference teams that have both gotten off to strong starts this year and they are looking to keep that momentum.
St. Louis Blues on Tuesday at 5:00 PM (PT)
The Blues are 1 of the 2 other undefeated teams remaining in the NHL so far besides the Sharks. Both teams are well prepared and rested for this contest, as they both haven’t played since last Saturday. Two years ago, the Sharks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Finals in a rather one-sided, five game series by the Blues. In the shortened season last year, the Sharks posted a 1-1-1 record in their season series. Both offenses are rolling and the goaltending has been exceptional. Antti Niemi’s 1.4 goals against average is slightly better than Jaroslav Halak’s 1.75 mark, but it’s hard to judge goaltending quality when neither goaltender has faced more than 30 shots. When two undefeated teams clash, it is always a fun game to watch. Make sure you remember the early five o’clock start though, you definitely don’t want to miss this one.
Dallas Stars on Thursday at 5:30 PM (PT)
The Sharks play their 2nd straight road game against well-known enemy/rival the Dallas Stars. In past years, games between these two teams have a reputation to get a little out-of-hand in the fight department. But what do you expect, they’re rivals! Currently, the Stars are 2-2 and are sitting at the 12th spot in the Western Conference. With their number one goaltender, Kari Lehtonen, injured, the Sharks will be facing a goaltender that may not be as experienced as Lehtonen is. Therefore, it will be crucial that the Sharks get shots on net and get traffic in front of their goaltender. This is the first meeting between these two teams this season. Last year, the Sharks struggled against the Stars, posting a 1-2-1 record in the season series. With the Sharks’ offense rolling as it is right now, hopefully they will be able to secure the win here over a lower caliber team.
Calgary Flames Saturday at 7:00 PM (PT)
The Flames were expected to be one of the weaker teams in the NHL this year. They have proved just the opposite. Currently they are boasting a 3-0-2 record and sitting at the 5th spot in the Western Conference. This game will mark the much anticipated return of T.J. Galiardi to San Jose, a former Sharks forward who was acquired at the 2011-12 trade deadline. In Teal, he failed to live up to Doug Wilson’s standards in the goal department so he was traded to the Flames during the offseason for a 4th round draft pick in 2015. He has already registered 1 goal and 2 assists this year so far, not Tomas Hertl like numbers, but still, not bad. Coming into this contest, the Flames will be well rested after two days off while the Sharks are coming back to the Bay after a two game road trip. Hopefully, behind the rowdy SAP Center crowd, the Sharks will be energized enough to pull out the win here.
That does it for your week 3 preview. We would love to here your predictions. Feel free to let us know how you think the Sharks will do this week through our official Twitter page, Facebook page, and through the comments below. Do you think the Sharks will be the last undefeated team in the NHL after this week?
Sidenote: Tomas Hertl is expected to play this week. Keeping him out of the game against the Senators was only a precaution by Todd McLellan.
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