San Jose will end it’s calendar year of 2015, hoping to leave struggles at home in the past, beginning tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday Night Hockey.
The Sharks have lost seven of their last eight in their home barn and are 4-10 this season at the Shark Tank. But Team Teal is hoping a return will give them a spark.
Logan Couture surprisingly is returning after missing three weeks due to a nasty arterial bleed in his right thigh. He only missed seven games and gave the time to rest his injured ankle up that he hurt back in October. While it’s a small sample size, San Jose is 3-1-0 when Couture is in the lineup, including 1-0 at home. Hey it’s the wishful, positive thinking we have going on here.
Meanwhile the rest of the team had a rough go at it in a 6-3 loss to Colorado on Monday night. The team offensively played well even strength but slowed down and took too many lazy stick penalties. Those penalties led to four power play goals which doomed San Jose from the onset.
Martin Jones will get the nod in net and will have this lineup in front of him:
Karlsson – Thornton – Pavelski
Marleau – Couture – Ward
Nieto – Hertl – Donskoi
Zubrus – Tierney – Wingels
Vlasic – Braun
Burns – Martin
Dillon – DeMelo
Philadelphia is getting one of their key pieces back tonight as well. Defenseman Mark Streit returns for the Flyers after missing 19 games due to pubic plate surgery.
Michal Neuwirth will start for Philly who have one more point than the Sharks, but two less victories and sit in 6th place in the Metropolitan Division. Their 37 points is seven less than the New York Rangers who sit in the third spot in their division.
San Jose sits one point behind Arizona and Vancouver for second and third in the Pacific, but are tied with Calgary for fourth, with Anaheim right behind them.
It’s a huge rivalry game with two points much needed.
With the game on NBCSN, Pucknology After Dark is your only postgame show tonight. We are an interactive show talking about the game and all things San Jose Sharks.
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