The Sharks have been white hot this season. They have yet to lose a game in regulation so far this season. The only game they have lost came on Thursday against the Dallas Stars in the Shootout.
The Sharks have successfully outscored their opponents 39-16 so far this season. They currently have 5 players that are above 10 points; Joe Pavelski leads the pack with 12, followed by Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Logan Couture with 11, and the rookie Tomas Hertl with 10. With the exception of 2 players plus their goaltender, every player on the team has registered at least 1 point this season.
There is no question that the Red Wings are going to have to step up defensively if they hope to stop the Sharks’ onslaught.
When it comes to the tale of the tape, the advantage is clearly with San Jose.
|Goals Per Game||2.67||4.88|
|Goals Against per Game||2.56||1.88|
|Shots on Goal Per Game||30.89||40.25|
|Penalty Minutes Per Game||9.22||12.75|
|Power Play Goals||6||11|
|Power Play Percentage||21.4%||25%|
|Penalty Kill Percentage||85.2%||82.9%|
Both teams are equally strong on the power play and the penalty kill. As I have said before, if you are at or around 25% on the power play, you are doing pretty good.
You can tell from the Shots on Goal that San Jose’s offense is going to pepper the Wings’ goaltender with shots, and if their defense doesn’t get in the way of some of those shots, their goaltender may just be in trouble.
Speaking of the goaltenders, Sharks’ goaltender Antti Niemi is currently 7-0-1 so far this season with a GAA of 1.86 and a Save Percentage of .921. He has blocked 176 of 191 shots against him.
On the other side of the ice, Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard is split down the middle this season, going 3-3 in his 6 appearances with a GAA of 2.67 and a Save Percentage of .914. Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson is 3-0-0 in his three appearances so far this season with a GAA of 1.67 and a Save Percentage of .953.
If the defense on both sides isn’t on their game, this could be a very high scoring game.
Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
Network: CSN-CA, FS-D