Roman Polak and Nick Spaling will make their Sharks debuts tonight as San Jose looks to win four out of five games on this road trip.
After picking up a big win against the St. Louis Blues, the San Jose Sharks conclude their road trip against a struggling Colorado Avalanche team. San Jose looks to build off their effort the other night, and they will get an infusion of energy into the lineup as their new additions are set to make their teal debuts.
Meanwhile, Colorado is clinging to the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, as they sit just two points ahead of the Wild. The Avalanche are a dynamic offensive unit, but can struggle at times in their own zone. Patrick Roy will be looking for a much better effort tonight as Colorado hosts their final tune-up before their Stadium Series tilt against Detroit on Saturday.
This will be the fourth and final meeting between these two clubs this season with the Sharks holding a 2-1 series edge. San Jose dominated Colorado by a 6-1 margin the last time these two teams met, and I don’t think the Avalanche will have forgotten that outcome.
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Players to Watch
Sharks: Roman Polak makes his debut tonight against the Avalanche. The hope is he can provide the defensive depth and much needed physicality on the blue line. Also, Brenden Dillon will check back into the lineup for the Sharks after missing the past six games with an upper-body injury. The two will comprise San Jose’s third-pairing for tonight’s matchup.
Avalanche: Tyson Barrie has been putting up quite the offensive numbers on the blue line with 40 points (10 goals, 30 assists) this season.
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Sharks: Tommy Wingels (upper body) and Matt Tennyson (possible concussion) are out.
Avalanche: Brad Stuart (back surgery) and Ben Street (chest) are out.
Keys to the Game
1) Stop Sign
Limit the speed of the opposition. This is a young, fast team. The Sharks have to make sure they take away any time and space from the Avs so they don’t generate any dangerous scoring opportunities. That means being hard on the puck and going hard on the forecheck.
2) Winning Mentality
Take advantage of the Avs’ struggles. This also relates to the first key, but the Sharks have to be winning at everything. Win the face-offs. Win the races to the puck. Win the board battles. Bottom line: just win by focusing on the little details. That’ll guarantee success against this Colorado team.
TV: NBCSN (7:00 p.m. PST)
Radio: 98.5 KFOX