The San Jose Sharks season is on the line tonight in Game 5 versus the Vegas Golden Knights. Team Teal is in full-blown desperation mode heading into this match-up at the SAP Center.
After a year of extreme highs and some disheartening lows the San Jose Sharks 2018 – 2019 season can end in Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights. Team Teal will pull out all the stops to make sure that doesn’t happen in front of their home crowd at the Tank.
Yesterday during practice Coach Pete DeBoer signaled that Martin Jones will be the Game 5 starter for Team Teal. The 29-year-old has had an abysmal playoffs recording a 0.836 SV% along with a staggering 5.19 Expected Goals Against, per naturalstattrick. He’s given up countless early goals that have deflated the rest of the Sharks throughout this series.
Martin Jones hasn’t been himself all season long but the bench boss feels the need to go with his guy who’s averaged 60+ starts and relative playoff success during his time in teal. It’s a difficult decision to make for DeBoer, especially with backup Aaron Dell not playing that well either at the moment.
The San Jose Sharks get both Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Joe Thornton back for Game 5. Pickles has been out since the beginning of the second period of Game 2, while Jumbo was suspended in Game 4 for his hit on Tomas Nosek in Game 3. This should boost morale around the locker room, but will it be enough to push them past the Vegas Golden Knights?
Considering the San Jose Sharks have last change, expect Vlasic matched up with the Vegas Golden Knights top line of Stone, Stastny and Pacioretty. However it will be an all out team effort to slow down this Knights attack.
Team Teal dealt with the Golden Knights aggressive forecheck in Game 4 and got the puck into their own zone with ease. But once they got it there the Sharks failed to convert on their many dangerous scoring chances.
The San Jose Sharks will look slightly different heading into their do or die Game 5 with Jumbo and Pickles getting penciled in for potentially the final game of the season. The Vegas Golden Knights will ice the same lineup, even though they had their recent addition from the KHL Nikita Gusev taking line rushes at morning skate.
San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier ~ Logan Couture ~ Joe Pavelski
Evander Kane ~ Tomas Hertl ~ Gus Nyquist
Marcus Sorensen~ Joe Thornton ~ Kevin Labanc
Joonas Donskoi ~ Barclay Goodrow ~ Melker Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ~ Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon ~ Erik Karlsson
Joakim Ryan ~ Justin Braun
Projected Starter ~ Martin Jones
Backup ~ Aaron Dell
Vegas Golden Knights
Jonathan Marchessault ~ William Karlsson ~ Reilly Smith
Max Pacioretty ~ Paul Stastny ~ Mark Stone
Tomas Nosek ~ Cody Eakin ~ Alex Tuch
Will Carrier ~ Pierre-Edouard Bellemare ~ Ryan Reaves
Nate Schmidt ~ Deryk Engelland
Brayden McNabb ~ Shea Theodore
Jon Merrill ~ Colin Miller
Projected Starter ~ Marc-Andre Fluery
Backup ~ Malcom Subban
This could be it for the San Jose Sharks if they fall tonight in Game 5. There could be some big changes in Sharks Territory if that were to happen. But that’s if they lose and Team Teal is full of too many veteran players with pride to go down without a fight. Anticipate the Sharks to put everything on the line regardless of the injuries that might be plaguing this squad.
Puck drop for tonight’s game at the SAP Center is at 7:00 PM PT. The game will be televised nationally on NBCSN but is also broadcasted locally via NBCSCA. The audio can be streamed on the Sharks App courtesy of 98.5 KFOX.