The San Jose Sharks head to the desert to kick off the regular season against their biggest rival the Vegas Golden Knights.
There is a lot of bad blood between these two franchises with the San Jose Sharks getting the better of the Knights in their most recent meaningful match-up.
As fun as it is to relive the magic that comeback provided the Sharks need to focus on the task at hand. They’ll be entering this contest without Evander Kane because of his recent 3 game suspension. This means that they’ll have to do some retooling when it comes to the line combinations.
Losing a top six winger is a tough break but there’s nothing Team Teal can do about it now. The Sharks will be icing a few forwards who will be making their NHL debut tonight. Lean Bergmann and Danil Yurtaykin will be tasked with logging huge minutes and will be looking towards players like Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, and Brent Burns for their veteran presence and insight.
These two forwards will be starting the night in the top six but don’t surprised if the lines go through the blender if DeBoer doesn’t like the initial results. Nevertheless, the two have exhibited the skills required to keep up with their teammates in preseason but the question remains if they can put it all together and be productive against this divisional rival.
Compounding with this is the fact this will the first start of blueliner Mario Ferraro. The 21-year-old rookie is in for a rough debut but shouldn’t be too intimidated by the pace of the NHL. Look out for him to play big minutes at 5v5 and on the penalty kill.
The rookies won’t be out there alone (thank god) here’s who else to expect on the ice for the San Jose Sharks as they roll into their first contest of the regular season.
*BREAKING* Erik Karlsson was a late game scratch due to a personal matter. Tim Heed will now slot along Mario Ferraro, with Dalton Prout saddling up beside Brenden Dillon.
On the flip side of this equation is the Vegas Golden Knights. They’re bringing back relatively the same daunting roster as last year and Jesse Granger of The Athletic was at morning skate to get the scoop on how they’ll start off against the Sharks on opening night.
One more interesting storyline to track will be how the Sharks set up their power play units. Timo Meier is likely going to get Kane’s spot on the first unit, which shifts skaters like Dylan Gambrell and Barclay Goodrow onto the second squad. But if these players don’t produce we will likely see them getting shifted around with some of the younger names.
Tonight’s game should be an absolute slug fest considering these two teams straight up hate one another. Hopefully there will be enough left over for their next match-up on Friday night at the SAP Center.
If you are interested in viewing this particular game the broadcast will be provided by NBCSN or stream the game here.