San Jose Sharks Go For Win Number Two In Toronto


The San Jose Sharks head to the hockey capital of the world as they continue their five-game road trip with a stop in Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs. Thankfully for the Sharks, they were able to snap their six-game slide with one of their best efforts against Montreal. Now, San Jose is looking to string together a series of wins as they look to make up for the hole they recently dug themselves.

Standing in their way tonight are the Toronto Maple Leafs who have been better than many analysts expected. While they still sit in last place in the Atlantic Division, Mike Babcock has the Maple Leafs playing a competitive game on most nights.

Players to Watch

Sharks: Dainius Zubrus. Zubrus was elevated to the top line following the injury to Tomas Hertl which forced him to miss the Sharks game against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night. In his stead, Zubrus filled in admirably as he picked up his first goal in teal as San Jose snapped their losing streak. Zubrus is expected to remain on the top line for tonight’s game and will be key to see if he can continue to produce.

Maple Leafs: James van Riemsdyk. With the offseason departure of Phil Kessel, van Riemsdyk became the focal point of the Toronto offense. While his numbers have taken a bit of a dip, he leads the Maple Leafs with 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists). The Sharks will want to key on van Riemsdyk and force someone else for the Maple Leafs to beat them.

Keys to the Game

More from Sharks News

1. Good Start

During their losing streak, it should come as no surprise that the Sharks allowed the first goal in all six of those games. Well, against Montreal, San Jose scored first and were able to build upon their lead throughout the game. The Sharks need another good start in Toronto and establishing an early lead will be key. With San Jose playing tomorrow night in Ottawa, they’ll want to do everything in their power to put this one away early.

2. Roll Four Lines

When the Sharks have been at their best this year, they’ve been able to roll over four lines consistently throughout the game. Again, with San Jose playing the first of a back-to-back, Peter DeBoer won’t want to rely on just one or two lines, or defensive pairs tonight. The whole lineup needs to be ready to play and contribute from the get-go.

3. Strong Penalty Kill

San Jose has been solid on the penalty kill in recent weeks, now sitting at 12th in the league at just under 82 percent. Toronto has trouble scoring, tying for 29th in the league with only 65 goals through their first 29 games. The Maple Leafs are decent on the power play, ranking 14th with a conversion rate of 18.7 percent. The Sharks will want to remain stout on the penalty kill and make things difficult defensively for the offensively challenged Maple Leafs.

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