After a solid outing in their first game in their first-round playoff series, the San Jose Sharks will look to extend their series lead against the Los Angeles Kings. In spite of a very physical game, it appeared yesterday based on the practice that the Sharks remain at full strength as no one suffered any significant injuries in a game that featured a combined 68 hits. Something else to watch is whether or not Kings defenseman Alec Martinez will be in tonight’s game as he left the bench in game one and did not return.
The keys to victory for the Sharks remain simple.
- They need to play their game. The LA Kings with players like Milan Lucic will try and get you to chase them around rather than play your game. The Sharks did a really good job of this in game one and will need to continue to do so as the series proceeds.
- Better Play from Roman Polak. Polak didn’t have his best game, not by a long shot, and while I’m not a huge anti-Polak guy I think that the Sharks should consider giving the DeMelo – Dillon pair another look. This could also serve to refocus Polak.
- Bottom six needs to contribute. The Sharks won the game but Joe Thornton was held off the score sheet which isn’t a surprise. The Kings know Thornton’s game very well and he will draw only the best defensive assignments by the Kings. The third and fourth line which played very well will need to contribute on the score sheet.
- Jones needs to be over the playoff jitters. Martin Jones had a good game and the sharks spent a lot of time scoring on themselves but he did in my opinion show some obvious nerves early on hopefully these are gone and he can settle in for the long haul.
- Play the hand you’re dealt, not the hand you want. The Sharks didn’t exactly get all the calls going their way last game and yet maintained their composure and played through it. The sharks will need to continue to do so, the playoff games that I have watched thus far have been far more tightly called in years past so the Sharks will need to adapt their game accordingly and maintain their composure when a call does not go their way.
|Los Angeles Kings||San Jose Sharks||Advantage|
|0-1||Playoff Record||1-0||Sharks lead 1-0|
Projected Kings Lineup
Lucic – Kopitar – Pearson
Brown – Carter – Toffoli
King – Lecavalier – Versteeg
Clifford – Andreoff – Lewis
McNabb – Doughty
Muzzin – Schenn
Scuderi – Martinez
Projected Sharks Lineup
Hertl – Thornton – Pavelski
Donskoi – Couture – Ward
Karlsson – Marleau – Nieto
Spaling – Tierney – Wingels
Vlasic – Braun
Martin – Burns
Dillon – Polak