Coming off a much-needed 2 day break the San Jose Sharks kick off Round 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs versus the St. Louis Blues.
The San Jose Sharks haven’t faced the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2015 -2016 Western Conference Finals.
Looking back at that series the play was extremely slow, heavy, and deliberate with Team Teal getting the better of the Blues in 6 games. That style of hockey seems like ancient history compared to the fast paced game of today. However there are a decent chunk of players from those teams, so don’t be surprised if we all suffer a case of group Deja Vu where the games end up being a bit sluggish.
Both of these teams are coming off eventful 7 game series where they got pushed to the brink. So anticipate some carryover momentum to leak into Game 1 until the two teams can size each other up.
The Blues are a much deeper team than the Colorado Avalanche, so it’ll be interesting to see who Coach DeBoer prioritizes on defense. We will most likely see Marc-Edouard Vlasic up against the Schwartz, Tarasenko, and Schenn configuration, but the series is just getting started and these match-ups are fluid so don’t assume that any of this is set in stone.
After a rocky start to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Martin Jones has settled in. The 29-year-old netminder has recorded a 0.928 SV% in his previous 10 starts, per naturalstattrick. His strong play has allowed this Sharks team to round into form with almost every player available for Game 1 on Saturday night.
On the flip side of things Jordan Binnington is playing well. He didn’t face much adversity in his previous game but made the key saves when it mattered most. He’ll have a much busier night in Game 1 facing this high scoring Sharks offense.
The San Jose Sharks will likely ice the same lineup as they did in Game 7 against the Avalanche. The Blues however are dealing with a few injuries, but their deep roster allows them to ice a pretty daunting lineup regardless of who’s missing. That being said here’s who expect on the ice for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier ~ Logan Couture ~ Gus Nyquist
Evander Kane ~ Tomas Hertl ~ Joe Pavelski
Marcus Sorensen~ Joe Thornton ~ Kevin Labanc
Melker Karlsson ~ Barclay Goodrow ~ Joonas Donskoi
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ~ Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon ~ Erik Karlsson
Joakim Ryan ~ Justin Braun
Projected Starter ~ Martin Jones
Backup ~ Aaron Dell
St. Louis Blues
Jaden Schwartz ~ Brayden Schenn ~ Vlad Tarasenko
Sammy Blais ~ Ryan O’Reilly ~ David Perron
Pat Maroon~ Tyler Bozak ~ Robert Thomas
Ivan Barbashev ~ Oskar Sundqvist ~ Alexander Steen
Joel Edmundson ~ Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester ~ Colton Parayko
Vince Dunn ~ Robert Bortuzzo
Projected Starter ~ Jordan Binnington
Backup ~ Jake Allen
The San Jose Sharks are looking to continue in their quest towards their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. However they have to leapfrog the St. Louis Blues and their long-suffering fan base eager for a Cup of their own.
Puck drop for tonight’s game at the SAP Center is at 5:10 PM PT. The game will be televised nationally on NBC. The audio can be streamed on the NHL and Sharks Apps courtesy of 98.5 KFOX.