Good news and bad news.
Good news first. Sharks come home after sweeping the Alberta teams on their home ice. They sit three points out of second, four points out of first in the Pacific. Martin Jones and James Reimer each had very strong games against offensively gifted, albeit bad Western Conference foes. 16 games left, 12 at home, and only two outside the Pacific time zone.
Bad news. The Sharks have 12 home games left on their schedule. Team Teal has only 12 home wins, granted they’ve picked up the pace a lot better this season. They are tied with Vancouver, Buffalo for second fewest wins at home in the league. Thanks Toronto for having only 10 home wins. Seven of the Sharks next nine games are against teams in serious playoff contention.
San Jose will have a true test through the rest of March. It’s a great time to really send a message to the team that “the Sharks are back”, right Peter DeBoer? In all seriousness, no one will give San Jose a chance, and this is the time to prove people wrong.
While this team did get two wins on the road, it’s time to re-establish a home ice advantage. They will attempt to do that in the Black Armor sweaters tonight. With things going well, maybe some more goal scoring and consistent improvement on the special teams, Team Teal can take down the Devils with this lineup tonight.
Hertl – Thornton – Pavelski
Nieto – Couture – Donskoi
Spaling – Marleau – Ward
Zubrus – Tierney – Karlsson
Vlasic – Braun
Martin – Burns
Dillon – Polak
As for New Jersey, they have a shot for the Wild Card in the Eastern Conference. They do sit six points out and four teams are ahead of them in the standings. It doesn’t help that Cory Schneider is out for a bit when a knee injury. The Devils power play has been very well with Adam Henrique and Kyle Palmieri leading the charge, these Devils aren’t going to go away. Just ask the Sharks back in October, who had Martin Jones’ lengthy streak end late and a crazy thrilling overtime resulting in a Sharks win in a shootout.
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