Sharks are in the Buckeye State for a Tank-off with the Columbus Blue Jackets

sFeb 17, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner (38) celebrates
sFeb 17, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner (38) celebrates / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

We're counting down the days until the end of the season for the Sharks. Already mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, we're just waiting for midnight to strike to end this nightmarish season the faithful of Team Teal have been forced to endure. With the conclusion of the season in sight, the Sharks maintain pole position to have the best odds at the first overall pick this summer when the lottery occurs.

As for tonight, Jan Rutta and Mike Hoffman were both in practice yesterday when the organization had to return. Both players had been dealing with injuries, so moving into the game tonight, the Sharks may get a boost to the roster. With so little time remaining in the season, it's one of those situations where a little bit extra could make the difference in the standings to avoid finishing last.

The last time these two organizations met, the Blue Jackets stole the game at the death at the SAP Center. Magnus Chrona and the crew will be looking to avoid a repeat performance of that when they go to Nationwide Arena for the rematch. This Jackets team can cause problems if they are taken lightly so it will be up to the Sharks to ensure that they play up to the quality of their opponent in this one.

Projected Lineups

San Jose Sharks

Alexander Barabanov - Mikael Granlund - Fabian Zetterlund
Filip Zadina - William Eklund - Luke Kunin
Thomas Bordeleau - Nico Sturm - Klim Kostin
Givani Smith - Ryan Carpenter - Justin Bailey
Mario Ferraro - Kyle Burroughs
Henry Thrun - Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Jan Rutta - Calen Addison
Magnus Chrona
Devin Cooley

Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnny Gaudreau - Boone Jenner - Alex Nylander
Alexandre Texier - Cole Sillinger - Kirill Marchenko
Mikael Pyyhtia - Dmitri Voronkov - Trey Fix-Wolansky
Carson Meyer - Brendan Gaunce - Mathieu Olivier
Zach Werenski - Adam Boqvist
Ivan Provorov - Damon Severson
Jake Bean - Erik Gudbranson
Daniil Tarasov
Elvis Merzlikins

Puck Drop

This one will be a 4 p.m. puck drop from the Buckeye State. Both teams are looking towards the draft lottery when the fate of organizations will be determined. San Jose can lose the remainder of the games and ensure the best odds at the first overall pick, but that is a question as to whether it is best for the youth on the roster to get used to such a culture of losing and complaining while playing for the Sharks.