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Sharks Begin Playoff Rush in Anaheim

We hoped you enjoyed your All-Star break and especially one of the most entertaining All-Star weekends in quite awhile. Now it’s time to get back to business.

When we last left the San Jose Sharks, they defeated Colorado 6-1, have points in ten straight to give them a slight cushion for second place in the Pacific Division. The gap between second and last is starting to open up, but even a small losing streak can derail playoff hopes.

That’s what happened to San Jose last February. The team fell apart and didn’t recover after last year’s Stadium Series. This February plans to be different. Team Teal is on the road for a good chunk of the month, where they’ve played their best hockey.

All four lines are contributing to scoring. The defense has played well and solidified throughout the season. And goaltending has been exceptional (even if Alex Stalock has an occasional Irbe moment and ventures outside the crease.)

The Joes are part of that reason. Joe Pavelski, coming off his two point night at the All-Star Game, looks to surpass his career high in goals. Joe Thornton has come on strong lately with a ten game point streak.

Looks for San Jose to use the same lineup from last Tuesday:

Hertl – Pavelski – Thornton
Nieto – Marleau – Ward
Donskoi- Couture – Wingels
Zubrus – Tierney – Karlsson

Vlasic – Braun
Martin – Burns
Dillon – DeMelo

Jones
Stalock

For the Anaheim Ducks, after a horrific start, they have found their scoring touch and received amazing netminding from a goalie who was in the AHL at the beginning of the year.

Quack City is 10-3-1 after the Christmas break to the All-Star break. They’re within two points of Arizona for third in the Pacific and five back of Nashville for the second Western Conference Wild Card.

Here we go. February will decide if this team can get into the playoffs or turn for an early April golf schedule. It can decide if San Jose is a buyer or a seller in 27 days at the trade deadline.

As always, Pucknology After Dark will be on tonight to break down the game. Including live reports from myself and Erik Landi from Anaheim. To subscribe, visit http://www.youtube.com/pucknologyafterdark1. Follow us on Twitter @pucknology for the direct link to tonight’s show.

Drop the puck and LET’S PUCKING DO THIS!

About Erik Kuhre

A Finatic since day one, Erik is the Lead Editor, Graphic Designer, and Social Media Director for Pucknology. He is also host, of the only tweet-in Sharks postgame show, Pucknology After Dark. "Puckguy" is the creator of the hashtag #SharksFam and the #SharksTweetup, a special meetup prior to a Sharks home game, once a year, of many Sharks fans who converse together through Twitter. He has also been recognized by the Sharks organization as their Honorary Team Captain in 1993-94, along with the team's "7th Man" in 2003-04, as well as a finalist for the NHL's "7th Man" in 2004.

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