With the series tied at 2 – 2 the San Jose Sharks get a chance to take back control of Round 2 at the Tank versus a confident Colorado Avalanche club.
The San Jose Sharks were on their heels all night during Game 4. Colorado was able to dictate play with their speed off the rush and utilize home ice advantage to prioritize match-ups on zone starts in their favor.
If Team Teal is hoping for better results in Game 5 they’ll have to focus their defensive efforts on slowing down MacKinnon and company. However that might be easier said than done considering he’s been on the ice for over 63% of Colorado’s goals scored in this series.
This makes the San Jose Sharks inability to convert on the power play during this series that much more frustrating. During this series Team Teal is only converting at a 10% rate (1/10). The Sharks need to capitalize on these easy opportunities to score if they want to survive in this series.
Team Teal’s depth can offset the top end talent of the Avalanche at 5v5 over the long run. But if the Sharks don’t start producing with all this extra ice their quest for the Stanley Cup will end in the 2nd round for the 2nd straight year
However, considering the amount of adversity they’ve already faced during these Stanley Cup Playoffs. Anticipate Team Teal to respond with a strong effort tonight at the Tank. Both teams have done a great job at making the proper adjustments responding to the firepower that both teams have.
From what we’ve gathered from morning skate the San Jose Sharks won’t be icing Joe Pavelski yet again tonight. He’s making progress daily and the training staff is confident we will be seeing the Captain on the ice sometime soon.
Lineups seem the same for the Avalanche, but Coach Pete DeBoer has signaled that the Sharks lineups are a game time decision. However here’s who to expect on the ice for both clubs during Game 5.
San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier ~ Logan Couture ~ Gus Nyquist
Evander Kane ~ Tomas Hertl ~ Joonas Donskoi
Marcus Sorensen~ Joe Thornton ~ Kevin Labanc
Micheal Haley ~ Barclay Goodrow ~ Melker Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ~ Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon ~ Erik Karlsson
Joakim Ryan ~ Justin Braun
Projected Starter ~ Martin Jones
Backup ~ Aaron Dell
Gabriel Landeskog~ Nathan MacKinnon ~ Alexander Kerfoot
Mikko Rantanen ~ Carl Soderberg ~ Colin Wilson
Matt Calvert ~ JT Compher ~ Matt Nieto
Derick Brassard ~ Tyson Jost ~ Gabriel Bourque
Ian Cole ~ Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov ~ Tyson Barrie
Cale Makar ~ Samuel Girard
Projected Starter ~ Philipp Grubauer
Backup ~ Semyon Varlamov
It would be a stretch to say that tonight’s Game 5 is a must win for the San Jose Sharks. But taking this series back to Denver down 3 – 2 would be a nightmare scenario. Despite Team Teals success in elimination games so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it wouldn’t be wise for this tired group to push their luck away from home.
Puck drop for tonight’s game at the SAP Center is at 7:00 PM PT. The game will be televised nationally on NBCSN. The audio can be streamed on the NHL and Sharks Apps courtesy of 98.5 KFOX.