San Jose Sharks visit the City of Angels to take on the Los Angeles Kings

Dec 27, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; San Jose Sharks center Luke Kunin (11) and Los Angeles
Dec 27, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; San Jose Sharks center Luke Kunin (11) and Los Angeles / Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

The captain is back and healthy, Nico Sturm returned to the lineup, and the San Jose Sharks won their last game against the Anaheim Ducks. Things are good in the hockey world in the Bay Area right now so a real test of the team is in order. The schedule makers agreed as the NHL wrote the script before the season, and the Los Angeles Kings will provide the opponent that tests the Sharks resolve.

With the new changes, it may take some time before we see the best out of this roster as line changes will take time to bed in. There will be some pains, but it will be a sign of growth as the team starts to overcome the concerns that have derailed the season to this point. It'll be a case for celebration as the Sharks start to get the best out of their roster and hopefully implement some winning ways.

Los Angeles beat the New York Rangers just a few days ago in a low-event game, so this is the kind of game the Sharks may struggle in. If the offense cannot find a way to get going and make this game competitive, the Sharks could find themselves on the wrong end of a heavy deficit in this one. It could also be a game where the Sharks can prove that they are the superior Californian organization, but it would require the Sharks to take the two points tonight.

Projected Lineups

San Jose Sharks

Fabian Zetterlund - Tomas Hertl - Mike Hoffman
Alexander Barabanov - Logan Couture - Anthony Duclair
William Eklund - Nico Sturm - Luke Kunin
Justin Bailey - Ryan Carpenter - Filip Zadina
Mario Ferraro - Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Henry Thrun - Jan Rutta
Nikita Okhotyuk - Kyle Burroughs
Kaapo Kahonen
Mackenzie Blackwood

Los Angeles Kings

Pierre-Luc Dubois - Anze Kopitar - Adrian Kempe
Kevin Fiala - Philip Danault - Trevor Moore
Alex Laferriere - Quinton Byfield - Jaret Anderson-Dolan
Carl Grundstrom - Trevor Lewis - Samuel Fagemo
Mikey Anderson - Drew Doughty
Vladislav Gavrikov - Matt Roy
Andreas Englund - Jordan Spence
David Rittich
Cam Talbot

Puck Drop

This game will get underway from 7:30 as the Sharks and Kings fight it out. Two points for San Jose and building a winning streak would go a long way to both denting the confidence of their rivals and building their own momentum after the long losing streaks. Another loss is what most fans are expecting, but if this offense can wae up with Couture back on the roster, it could be a very different story.