The San Jose Sharks are coming off a disheartening loss against the New York Islanders. They were defeated handily by a muddling Islanders franchise, but are looking to bounce back tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The San Jose Sharks defense struggled to contain the Islanders in their own zone. They gave up quite a few high danger opportunities that ended up sinking Martin Jones who played fairly well through the first couple periods. The Sharks had their own chances in the Islanders zone, but were ultimately shut out by a sensational Robin Lehner in his first game of the season.
The San Jose Sharks had a difficult Monday morning, and looked sluggish at times. But one shouldn’t be too alarmed about a game where the Sharks had to travel across the country, lose their locker room leader to Injured Reserve, adjust to a 3 hour time difference and then wake up for a matinee game. Expect the Sharks to bounce back Tuesday night against a talented Flyers squad.
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The San Jose Sharks are once again the guests of honor for another teams home opener. They were able to poop on the LA Kings party on Friday, and are looking to do the same to the Flyers. Expect the fans at the Wells Fargo Center to be galvanized with the amount of hype surrounding this team.
On paper these teams are pretty evenly matched. The San Jose Sharks might have a better defensive corps overall, but the Flyers have a number of game-breaking forwards anchoring their first two lines. This should be a fast paced, high scoring affair between these two perennial powerhouses in their respective divisions.
Don’t be too discouraged about yesterday’s performance, as this team is way too talented to be kept down. Expect tonight’s game to play out a little differently, so keep an eye for these key factors the Sharks need to capitalize on.
As far as the the lineups go they should be relatively the same as the last game. Here’s how they shook out yesterday.
Pete DeBoer Aspiring Mixologist
Pete DeBoer has been scramble mode at the beginning of this season when it comes to configuring his lines. The San Jose Sharks second and third lines have played consistently over the first couple of games, but the 1st and 4th line continue to be in flux especially with the loss of Jumbo. The coach continues to tinker with the lines throughout the game, but he might have to split up the ones that are producing in order to spread the offense around more.
The San Jose Sharks have been able to produce some steady offensive pressure over the first 3 games, but have really struggled to put pucks into the net. It’s too early to panic about this scoring drought, but it is a perplexing situation for a team with weapons like San Jose.
Tuesday Night Timo Time
Timo Meier has arguably been the Sharks most effective forward thus far into the season. He leads the team in HDCF% and in FF% while he is on the ice. These statistical categories exhibit Meier’s ability to drive play and get into position for good scoring opportunities. His size, strength, and skate speed were used to win puck battles and screen defenders from the front of the crease.
He has also been tasked with some arduous defensive assignments. He was responsible for most of the back checking duties on his line with slower players like Joe Pavelski. Timo has also become one of the teams most reliable special teams players he was deployed heavily on the Penalty Kill, and is a potential candidate for PP1 time with that unit continuing to disappoint early on.
Labanc On the Top Power Play Unit
After yesterday’s rough outing against the Islanders, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz caught up with coach Pete DeBoer and caught an interesting quote from the man behind the bench.
This makes a lot of sense on the first power play unit. Labanc arguably has the most impactful right handed shot, especially with Pavelski looking slightly lethargic during the first few games of the season. Placing Labanc on that first unit will give it much more speed and right handed shooting options. Putting him on the left point or along the left hand boards will put him in the perfect shooting position for cross ice passes or rebounds created by the Sharks strong left handed shooters.
Labanc is coming off a career year while posting some serious numbers on the power play. He compiled 17 points over the course of the year, which placed 4th overall on this Sharks team.
Judging by Labanc’s play so far this season he’s looking to set new career point totals. Keep an eye out for Kevin Labanc’s usage on the man advantage as the game moves along.
Catch tonight’s game on NBCSN CA, puck drop is at 7:00 PM ET, and you can stream the game at KFOX 98.5 FM or via the Sharks App,