Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone. As the San Jose Sharks return from their festive period, they will face a tough task of going to Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles and trying to defeat a 19-7-4 Los Angeles Kings team. As the rebuild continues for the Sharks, this looks like it is just going to be more pain for the team in teal, but the chance to get one over on your state rivals is always worth watching.
For San Jose, we're now at the end of the holiday roster freeze, so perhaps look for the dominoes that are this teams pending unrestricted free agents to start finding their way out of the door and moving towards greener pastures in exchange for assets the Sharks can use to bolster their future. Whether that be Anthony Duclair, Mike Hoffman, or Alexander Barabanov, the Sharks will want to be increasing the trade values of these assets as much as they can before the deadline on March 8th, if they are going to move them.
It'll be important for the organization to get the young players going too. That means William Eklund will need to continue his good start to the season after the Chrismas break, and the youngsters on the back end will need to keep improving as they have done to this point in the season. They need to keep their steady improvement. This is going to get a lot more painful, so we need something to talk about that isn't just pain and suffering.
San Jose Sharks
William Eklund - Tomas Hertl - Filip Zadina
Anthony Duclair - Mikael Granlund - Fabian Zetterlund
Justin Bailey - Luke Kunin - Mike Hoffman
Kevin Labanc - Jack Studnicka - Jacob MacDonald
Mario Ferraro - Kyle Burroughs
Nikita Okhotyuk - Jan Rutta
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Henry Thrun
Los Angeles Kings
Quinton Byfield - Anze Kopitar - Adrian Kempe
Kevin Fiala - Phillip Danault - Trevor Moore
Alex Laferriere - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Arthur Kaliyev
Carl Grundstrom - Blake Lizotte - Trevor Lewis
Mikey Anderson - Drew Doughty
Jacob Morerare - Matt Roy
Andreas Englund - Jordan Spence
This will be a 7 p.m puck drop from the City of Angeles, and the Sharks will be looking to snap a losing streak while they get one over on their bitter state rivals. This will probably just be more salt in the open wounds of the season so far though. This feels like a game where the task will be to enjoy the positives and not worry too much about the result at the end of the day.