The San Jose Sharks are heading into their final contest of this 4 game home stand. They’ve compiled 3 points in 3 games against 3 eastern conference foes. Their offense has been sort of turbulent over this stretch of games but seemingly found their footing last Saturday night against the Flyers.
The San Jose Sharks got down early to Philadelphia by giving up a goal on the first shot of the game from Nolan Patrick. But the Sharks turned up the offensive pressure after that early strike which eventually led to some good scoring chances. The Sharks put together their most impressive offensive effort in nearly a week in Saturday nights win.
Their shot distribution was much more balanced compared to their previous game against Columbus. Using this Hockeyviz tool produced by Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) we can observe how spread out the Sharks were in the offensive zone.
The San Jose Sharks relied less on shots from the point and more on chances created behind the net and near the crease. They controlled possession for a large portion of the game but unfortunately allowed some dangerous opportunities to some of the Flyers top players and paid mightily for it. Nevertheless the Sharks escaped overtime with a win on a game winning goal by Timo Meier, but San Jose has an even tougher foe on the horizon.
Team Teal is set to defend home ice against the Minnesota Wild this evening. The Wild have been a surprise during the early stages of this season. They are second in a tough central division with 18 points over a 13 game span. They’ve been getting some stellar goal tending from Devan Dubnyk and impressive defensive play from their top 4 defenders. The Sharks are in for one of their toughest games to date against a team looking to extend their win streak to 3 games.
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Dubnyk is arguably the toughest goalie the San Jose Sharks have faced this year, so getting ahead early will be essential for Team Teal to be successful tonight. That task will be easier said and done considering Dubnyk places in the top 10 in SV%, HDSV%, and GSAA, per Corsica Hockey.
The Sharks will also be tasked with stopping one of the most dominant pairings in the league consisting of Ryan Suter and Matt Dumba. They place 3rd in the league in xGF according to Corsica Hockey. The game tonight would be a tough one to miss out on, considering the talent on both of these team’s roster.
Team Teal will be starting a unfamiliar looking lineup. This shake up is mostly due to the potential absence of Tomas Hertl who will be a game time decision before puck drop at the SAP Center. The San Jose Sharks official twitter account tweeted out the possible line up but it could be shifted around if Hertl makes it in the game.
Martin Jones will be the netminder for the San Jose Sharks tonight. Jones hasn’t played up to what we’ve come to expect from him over the past few years but some of his struggles can be chalked up to a couple of factors that are out of his control. With more time spent with the newly configured defense in front of him and potentially more rest we should see Jones average out to his consistent style of play that he’s provided for the team his entire Sharks career.
Tonight’s game starts at 7:30 and will be airing on NBCSCA, and also streaming through the San Jose Sharks official app courtesy of 98.5 KFOX