It feels like that long six-game road trip just concluded. But a quick stop at home to dispatch the Winnipeg Jets, and the Sharks are moving to the desert to face the Arizona Coyotes at the most unique arena in the sport right now. Playing at Mullett Arena is unlike playing at any other building in the NHL due to its smaller size. It's a college rink, so it has advantages for teams that are unfamiliar. If the Sharks want to keep winning, they are going to have to ignore that and find a way to focus on the game on the ice.
With the Sharks being among the hottest teams in the NHL, two points from Mullett Arena could see them pull within six points of the playoff places. Whether that is good for the organization or not is a debate for another time. Right now, the team is winning, and we need to enjoy it while it lasts. It's been too long since we have been graced with a good San Jose Sharks team, and this one certainly has the feel of a team that wants to chase the playoffs going into the new year rather than planning on who and what to get rid of before the trade deadline in March.
Arizona is one of the teams chasing the playoff places ahead of the Sharks, as a win would see the Desert Dogs jump over the St Louis Blues and back into the wild-card places. A red-hot team trying to overcome a slow start and a team on the verge of relocating and desperate to reinvigorate its fanbase will clash at the Mullett Arena in Arizona tonight. Sports create some good storylines, don't they?
San Jose Sharks
William Eklund - Tomas Hertl - Alexander Barabanov
Anthony Duclair - Mikael Granlund - Fabian Zetterlund
Justin Bailey - Luke Kunin - Mike Hoffman
Givani Smith - Filip Zadina - Kevin Labanc
Mario Ferraro - Kyle Burroughs
Nikita Okhotyuk - Jan Rutta
Henry Thrun - Calen Addison
Clayton Keller - Nick Schmaltz - Jason Zucker
Matias Maccelli - Nick Bjugstad - Lawson Crouse
Michael Carcone - Alex Kerfoot - Zach Sanford
Milos Kelemen - Logan Cooley - Liam O'Brien
J.J Moser - Mathew Dumba
Juuso Valimaki - Troy Stetcher
Travis Dermott - Mickael Kesselring
This will be a 6 p.m Pacific start time because the state of Arizona does not use daylight savings time. It means that they are an hour ahead of the majority of the league most of the season, and game times move forward to keep up with the local time. If the Sharks can keep up their red hot run as of late, this could continue their momentum up the standings. What a story these boys in teal have been.