Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals will no doubt be another intense match-up between the San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues
The San Jose Sharks successfully kicked off Round 3 versus the St. Louis Blues with an impressive 6 – 3 win on Saturday night. The Sharks remained disciplined and stuck to their game, not allowing the Blues to bait them into taking too many penalties.
The bad blood seems to be boiling between these two clubs, with the players not mincing words when it comes to their opinions about each other during post game interviews after Game 1. It will be interesting to see how this carries over into Tuesday evening and throughout the rest of this series.
St. Louis focused heavily on being the more physical team in Game 1. The Sharks capitalized on their aggressive play, focusing more on moving the puck instead of racking up hits on the stat sheet. This pass from Couture is a good example of how Team Teal had more interest in creating dangerous scoring opportunities then making their presence known through checks and hits.
Expect the Blues to revert to trying to control possession and generating scoring chances through their skilled blueliners. This is what made them successful during the regular season and in the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This sounds easy in theory but will be difficult to put into practice with the San Jose Sharks looking like their clicking at just the right time of the season. The Blues will have to pick their poison between focusing their defensive attention on either Timo Meier or Tomas Hertl. The two power forwards are making their presence known around the league with their play during these Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Something that’s been understated during the Rounds 1 and 2 for the Sharks is the play of Marc-Edouard Vlasic. He was able to suppress the firepower of both the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche, and is doing the same to the St. Louis Blues high end offensive talent.
The top line of consisting of Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn, and Vladimir Tarasenko combined for just 3 shots in Game 1, per naturalstatrick. These three have been a main source of production for St Louis during the firs two series. Pickles will be tasked with quelling the trio once again tonight with home ice advantage hanging in the balance.
The San Jose Sharks can win their first Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Team Teal has struggled to string together successive wins during this postseason, with opposing teams making the necessary adjustments to stymie the Sharks game plan after a strong initial outing. They’ll be looking to reverse this trend with a statement win tonight at the SAP Center.
It doesn’t seem like there will be any changes from Game 1 from either teams so here’s who we will be seeing on the ice for Game 2 at the Tank.
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
Team Teal can take control of the Western Conference Finals tonight versus a St. Louis Blues club looking to bounce back from a lackluster Game 1 performance. Anticipate a more skilled game between the both teams with the Blues learning the hard way that the Sharks will make you pay on even the slightest mistake.
Puck drop for tonight’s game at the SAP Center is at 6:10 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.