San Jose Sharks prepare to play against the New Jersey Devils in Timo Meier's return

Dec 1, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Calen Addison (33) skates against
Dec 1, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Calen Addison (33) skates against / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

At the trade deadline last year, Timo Meier moved from the Bay Area to the Garden State in a major deal that involved a ton of moving parts. In the end, the deal saw Fabian Zetterlund, Nikita Okhotiuk, and Shakir Mukhamadullin among others come into the organization from out East as the team continues to rebuild. Meier will get a tribute tonight as he comes back as a visiting player, and he deserves it.

As for the team news itself, Givani Smith is expected to remain on the outside looking in. There will be no Vlasic again tonight as he continues to deal with his upper-body injury. Both Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture remain sidelined, although the captain has said he's been feeling better after some rest. At his age though, it's probably for the better that he rests and either makes sure he's completely alright coming back, or he doesn't do it.

Continuing the alternation of the netminders, Mackenzie Blackwood will go up against his former hockey club after arriving from the Garden State in the summer. With two years left on his deal, this could be a game where Blackwood not only proves his old GM wrong for giving up on him, but forces him to consider rectifying his mistake by acquiring the netminder to protect the goaltending woes the Devils are dealing with.

Projected Lineups

New Jersey Devils

Timo Meier - Nico Hischier - Jesper Bratt
Ondrej Palat - Jack Hughes - Curtis Lazar
Tyler Toffoli - Erik Haula - Dawson Mercer
Tomas Nosek - Chris Tierney - Alexander Holtz
Jonas Siegenthaller - John Marino
Kevin Bahl - Simon Nemec
Luke Hughes - Colin Miller
Nico Daws
Akira Schmid

San Jose Sharks

Anthony Duclair - Mikael Granlund - Fabian Zetterlund
Luke Kunin - William Eklund - Filip Zadina
Alexander Barabanov - Nico Sturm - Kevin Labanc
Justin Bailey - Ryan Carpenter - Mike Hoffman
Mario Ferraro - Ty Emberson
Henry Thrun - Jan Rutta
Kyle Burroughs - Calen Addison
Mackenzie Blackwood
Kaapo Kahkonen

Puck Drop

This is a typical 7:30 start from the Shark tank. The Sharks beat the Devils in New Jersey earlier in the season by a 6-3 scoreline, and they will be looking to sweep the season series with a win tonight. As for the Devils, they are fighting for their playoff lives. Injuries and problems have plagued them all-season long so trying to get to the playoffs in one piece will be their major concern for now.