Early regular season games don’t get much better than the San Jose Sharks vs Boston Bruins. This contest will have it all, as an early Western Conference superpower gears up to tangle with an early Eastern Conference super power.
The Bruins will be playing for their second time in as many nights, but are coming off of their third consecutive victory after taking apart the Buffalo Sabres last night. San Jose will be more well rested and hasn’t played since Monday, when they played an incredibly boring game against the Detroit Red Wings.
A victory is a victory though, and the Sharks managed to come away with both points despite not scoring a goal in regulation for the first time all season. If you think the fact that San Jose is the last remaining unbeaten team will be lost on Boston, think again. This is a team chock full of guys who live for games like this, and they’re going to come out flying in front of their home town fans.
The Sharks are first in average goals-scored, while Boston ranks seventh. The B’s are the second-best defensive team in the NHL, while San Jose is the third best. Both teams are in the top-five as far as shot production goes, and both teams are sporting outstanding penalty-kill units.
In the crease for the Bruins will be Tuukka Rask, who will garner Vezina consideration at the end of the year. So will Antti Niemi, and he’s going for the Sharks tonight.
Toss in high-end forwards like Joe Thornton, Milan Lucic, Jarome Iginla and Joe Pavelski and this game has the makings of an early-season classic. We wrote the same thing about the Wings game, and were wrong. The hockey gods owe us a barn-burning 4-3 fireworks show between San Jose and Boston.
It’s way early in the season, but it isn’t too tough to imagine this as an early-season Stanley Cup preview between two of the top teams in the NHL right now. Even if you’re not buying one or both of these squads as Finalists, there’s no denying that there’s a lot to keep an eye on in this contest.