San Jose will have their work cut out for them if they want to overtake the Kings and Ducks for the division crown.
With just 10 games remaining in the regular season, the San Jose Sharks are clinging to their faint hopes of overtaking the Los Angeles Kings for the Pacific Division crown. However, San Jose does have a real shot of tracking down the Anaheim Ducks, whom they trail by one point although the Ducks do have a game in hand on our boys in teal.
Following their 3-0 shutout victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday night, the Sharks remain in third place with a 41-25-6 record, 88 points and 38 regulation wins. Also, San Jose has flown under the radar but they possess the third best goal differential in the league at +29, trailing only Los Angeles (+33) in that department among teams in the West.
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The Sharks have a tough little stretch over their next four contests as they play the Blues and Stars before their pivotal matchup against the Kings on March 28. If San Jose has any shot of catching L.A., they will need a victory in regulation in that one, but also a few stumbles from the Kings down the stretch.
Los Angeles does have a tough stretch here as they play Minnesota tonight after falling in Nashville last night. For fans of team teal, they will be pulling hard for the Wild to snag two points from the Kings.
Meanwhile, further south in Anaheim, the Ducks began a five-game road trip through Canada with a victory over Winnipeg on Sunday. While the teams they’re playing are all out of the playoff mix, the travel itself will likely be the biggest obstacle for Anaheim over their next four contests.
Also to note, the Ducks have the toughest closing stretch of the season as they take on the Avalanche, Kings and the Washington Capitals in a four-day span, highlighted by a brtual back-to-back against L.A. and then having to travel across the country to Washington in a makeup game from earlier this year.
All-in-all, it’ll be nip-and-tuck to see which two California teams will square off against one another when the playoffs commence in a little more than two weeks from now.
Depending on the Anaheim result tonight in Montreal, San Jose has an opportunity to surpass the Ducks for second place in the division if they can find a way to defeat the St. Louis Blues tonight for a third time this season.
It won’t be easy for team teal, but they’ve at least put themselves in a position to make things interesting down the stretch.