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Sharks wrap up road trip vs. Avalanche

The Sharks will welcome their new additions into the line up as they close out their road trip in Colorado where they will face the Avalanche. The Sharks who have previously struggled in February have been very good considering their time on the road and caliber of many of their opponents. Over this time period, the Sharks have accumulated a 6-3-1 record with their unjustly criticised power play working at 23.1% effectiveness (9th.).

It has not been all clear sailing for the Sharks though as they have lost Tommy Wingels, Brenden Dillon and Matt Tennyson to injury over that time. While Dillon will return to the lineup tonight, one has to at least be concerned about the placement of Wingels on the IR even though it’s most likely to clear a roster spot for Nick Spaling as well as free up some cap space that could facilitate another deal before the deadline. Per Kevin Kurz Wingels did skate today but no word on a possible return. There is no word so far on how long Matt Tennyson will be out of the lineup; this has more of an impact on the Barracuda as one would imagine that he would probably have headed back there with the addition of Roman Polak. Martin Jones will get the start for the Sharks, Jones has a record of 6-3-0 with a 2.22 GAA and a .920 SV% over the month of February.

Both Spaling and Polak are expected to be ready to play in tonight’s match up and while I have little doubt that Polak will likely play on the third pair with a returning Brenden Dillon, it will be interesting to see where Spaling slots into the lineup. I think he could be worth a look on the third line with Donskoi and Couture but would also not be shocked if he lines up beside Chris Tierney and Dainius Zubrus as well both places I think he would fit in solidly.

For the Avalanche they will be starting Calvin Pickard today who had a rough outing in his previous meeting with the Sharks allowing 4 goals however, he has been respectable overall with a 4-3-1 record and a 2.67 GAA and a .918 SV% so the Sharks shouldn’t go in expecting to light him up again, the effort will need to be there. The Avalanche are preparing for their Stadium Series game this weekend which may leave them a touch distracted but only a two point lead on the Wild who have seen improved play under their new coach every point will matter in what should be a heavily contested wild card race. Polak and Spaling will be facing former teammate Shawn Matthias who the Avalanche acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier in the week.

On a side note, we here at Pucknology would like to wish former Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan a happy retirement from the NHL.

Colorado Avalanche

Record: 31-27-4, 66 pts. 5th in the Central and the final wild card seed in the western conference.
Current Streak: Lost 1
Last 10 Games: 4-5-1
Power Play: 19% (13th)
Penalty Kill: 79.6% (21st)
Goal Differential: -8

Avalanche Projected Lineup

Grigorenko – Duchene – Iginla
Landeskog – Mackinnon – Tanguay
Matthias – Soderberg – Comeau
McLeod – Mitchell – Skille

Beauchemin – Johnson
Holden – Barrie
Bigras – Bodnarchuk

Pickard
Varlamov

San Jose Sharks

Record: 32-21-5, 69 pts, 3rd. In the Pacific Division
Current Streak: Won 1
Last 10 Games: 6-3-1
Power Play: 22.6% (3rd)
Penalty Kill: 79.7% (20th)
Goal Differential: +17

Sharks Projected Lineup

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

Vlasic – Braun
Martin – Burns
Dillon – Polak

Jones
Stalock

Update: Spaling will play on the 4th. line per Kevin Kurz

About Ian Reid

Ian is the Director of Content for Pucknology. He is a lifelong Sharks fan based in Canada. In three short years Ian has come a long way starting from his own blogspot and going on to write for RSENReport.com, Last Word on Hockey before settling in at Pucknology. You can also find Ian's work as a contributor at FearTheFin.com. On the podcast side of things he was a co-host of the now defunct Teal Tinted Glasses podcast as well as a regular on Pucknology After Dark and host of the Pucknology Writers Room.

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