San Jose Sharks Searching For Answers Against Wild


The San Jose Sharks have been back-sliding throughout the entire month of December as they have failed to record a victory and have picked up just one point. The Sharks will look to snap their five-game losing streak tonight as they welcome in the Minnesota Wild for their final home game before the Christmas break.

San Jose is searching for any kind of answers at this point in time as they’ve lost six of their past seven games after rattling off six-straight wins. Peter DeBoer is shaking up the Sharks lines in hopes of finding a spark against the Wild.

Look for San Jose to come out with a strong push in the early going as they look to take advantage of a Minnesota team that lost last night in Arizona against the Coyotes.

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Players to Watch

Sharks: Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Vlasic returns to the San Jose lineup after missing the past three games with a lower-body injury. His presence was greatly missed as the Sharks allowed four goals in each of those three games, all losses. Vlasic has three goals and eight assists with a team-leading plus-six rating in more than 23 minutes of ice time per game.

Wild: Ryan Suter. Suter is a stalwart on the back end for Minnesota as he leads all NHL players with 28:21 of ice time per game. This season, Suter leads the Wild in scoring with 21 points (four goals and 17 assists) as he’s doing his best to keep Minnesota in the thick of the Central Division race.

Keys to the Game

1. Defense, Defense, Defense

The Sharks have been making things too easy for their opponents in the defensive zone, routinely giving up quality scoring chances. During their recent five-game slide, San Jose has been outscored by a 18-9 margin as they now rank 20th in the league in goals against per game. The return of Vlasic should help, but the Sharks need to take care of their own zone first.

2. Joe Thornton

It’s been a rough stretch for Thornton as he has just one goal and one assist in his last 10 games. The Sharks will need him to perform at a higher level if they want to break out of their recent rut. For the season, Thornton has just four goals and 12 assists.

3. Get the Job Done

San Jose has deserved better in some of their games of late, but all that matters is the bottom line. The Sharks need to put together a full 60-minute effort and do whatever it takes to emerge with the two points when all is said and done tonight.

Next: Sharks News & Notes: Couture's Status Updated


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