The San Jose Sharks are currently in the midst of their season-worst stretch of hockey, with a 5-game losing streak spanning from last Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tonight, the Sharks face Zach Parise and the Minnesota Wild at home at SAP Center in their first meeting of the season, where the boys in teal for whatever reason have not performed well, and their record indicates it at 4-8-0.
Despite being in the second Wild Card spot at 5th place in the tough Central Division, the Wild do have a pretty decent record at 14-7-6. However, only 4 of those wins have come on the road, where they seem to be struggling as they also have 4 regulation losses and 5 losses in OT/SO as the Away team.
The Sharks should have the upper hand on special teams. They are currently 18th overall on the man-advantage, with a 17.9% conversion rate at home, while the Minnesota Wild are 21st, and have a 13.0% conversion rate on the road. The Sharks also have a clear advantage in the penalty killing department, where they place 12th in the League. They are 77.4% at home when killing penalties. Meanwhile, Minnesota has struggled with 26th overall PK, their road penalty kill percentage at 78.7%.
Despite Logan Couture being out again, San Jose does have defenseman Marc-Eduoard Vlasic back in the line-up, which should be a huge boost for a blue line that has struggled without their top-4 defensemen. For more on tonight’s line combos, be sure to check out Ian Reid’s article on Couture’s absence from the line-up (the first link in this paragraph).
It should be another interesting night, which unfortunately usually spells out bad news for our beloved Sharks. Regardless of the outcome, though, we’ll always bleed teal. That said, let’s drop the puck.