San Jose Sharks What to Watch For: Karlsson in Teal

SAN JOSE, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks puts on his teal jersey during a press conference at the Hilton on September 19, 2018 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks puts on his teal jersey during a press conference at the Hilton on September 19, 2018 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The San Jose Sharks are coming off a wild 7 – 5 defeat in the Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday night. It was a high scoring affair with an interesting mix of players contributing on both sides.

The San Jose Sharks iced many of their younger players against a lot of the Flames regulars and fared pretty well considering. The Sharks came out on fire potting 4 goals in the first period. They converted their first power play goal of the preseason with a shot by rising prospect Rourke Chartier.

They played a solid game for the first half but burnt out towards the end allowing 6 goals in the final two frames. The young Sharks often coughed up costly turnovers to players who know how to convert them into points. Calgary Star Johnny Gaudreau lit the lamp 2 times. The veteran groups of Flames players were able to finish off the young San Jose Sharks and win their third game of the preseason.

However the feeling at SAP center is probably going to be a little different on Thursday night’s game. Both teams expected to play many of their NHL regulars. It’s rare to have this type of hype surrounding a preseason exhibition match. But Sharks fans and fans of hockey will be tuning into this one for the debut of Erik Karlsson in a teal sweater.

If seeing the beginning of the EK65 era in San Jose wasn’t already enough good news, the Sharks are going to be icing what could likely be their starting line up on opening night. The lines are courtesy of Mercury New’s Curtis Pashelska

It is a lot to process emotionally and it may be hard to focus because of the overwhelmingexcitement, so here at Blades of Teal we have outlined a few things to watch for coming in this matchup with this Division foe.

The Power Play with Karlsson

After weeks of speculation and almost dream like hypothetical’s the San Jose Sharks are finally going to unleash their Power Play with Karlsson in the mix. The man advantage has looked pretty pitiful thus far during the preseason. They are 1/11 at converting on special teams, with that one goal coming from a player who didn’t play on the roster last year. The regulars from last year went 0/3 against the Vegas Golden Knights last Saturday. They looked extremely one dimensional and weren’t able to create consistent pressure in the opponents zone. The Sharks are banking that the addition of EK65 will be remedy for the woes on the Power Play.

The Young Centers Play With NHL Regulars

One thing that should be interesting to watch tonight will be how the young skaters, but specially the centers Antti Suomela and Rourke Chartier will mesh with the NHL regulars. They have shown flashes of their potential throughout most of the preseason. Both have exhibited their efficiency in the face-off circle, along with the ability to chip in on offense. Look for these two to continue to build chemistry with their potential line mates. Donskoi and Suomela have played well together and the coaches seem to like that duo so far in camp. Also keep an eye out for these two to get some penalty killing minutes, they are both players with reputations for playing well in all 3 zones.

Next. Expected Defensive Pairings. dark

EK65’s Zone Usage

Along with paying attention to the Sharks power play, watch for how coach Peter DeBoer uses the defensive dynamo when the Sharks have the Flames hemmed back into their own zone. Expect to see him or Burns play on their off hand side to maximize the amount of offensive pressure the Sharks can create. Karlsson will be paired with Marc-Edouard Vlasic so don’t expect him to shielded from any difficult defensive assignments. This pairing is very intriguing and already been argued as the best in the entire league without having been iced a single game together. Tonight finally we all get our first glimpse at this Sharks roster and hopefully many of our dreams will manifest into reality on the ice Thursday night.