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Critical Game 5 Might Be Sharks’ Biggest Game Ever

Welcome to the San Jose Sharks’ Stanley Cup Saga – Episode 1, The Fin Strikes Back. In this saga, Team Teal will begin to find their way back to their dominance of the St. Louis Blues, in which they had in Games 2 and 3 of the Western Conference Final. While St. Louis plans to make the comeback complete in resounding fashion, making San Jose question every fiber in their team.

When we last left our teal clad hockey club, they were stunned 6-3 to the Bluenotes in Game 4 at the Shark Tank. A team that oozed confidence and had St. Louis singing the Blues wasn’t in the game from the get go. Slow skating, bad communication, horrific passing which led to a shorthanded goal. Martin Jones who had a 153:57 shutout streak gave up four goals in 30 minutes of action. It was the first regulation loss for San Jose in the 2016 playoffs.

So where do we go from here? Well the Sharks need to get back to their puck possession game that involves speed, strong forechecking, and team chemistry. It’s not expected to have any lineup changes, and if you think that James Reimer might start Game 5, you are the mayor of Wrongville. Here’s what San Jose will dress in their white and teal jerseys Monday night:

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

Vlasic – Braun
Martin – Burns
Dillon – Polak

Jones
Reimer

Through four games, San Jose has a slight edge in shots per game and goals, while the Blues have a very minimal advantage in faceoff wins.
PAD GFX - playoffs stats copy

For St. Louis, they are banged up. Captain David Backes was relegated to cheerleader and didn’t play after five minute mark remaining in the first period. Robbi Fabbri, the Blues leading playoff scorer, played less than ten minutes. Scottie Upshall has missed the last two to an upper body injury. We should expect an update on them later this morning.

The numbers don’t lie, but something will give. San Jose is 4-9 all time in Game 5 of a playoff series, when tied 2-2. That being said, they have won two of the last three Game 5’s when tied up. St. Louis will host a Game 5 for the fourth year in a row, and have lost each one of them. Albeit the Blues did win Game 5 in Dallas when it was tied up in the series.

On Pucknology, we have you covered. Join us at 2:30pm PT for Pregaming with Pucknology where we will have Matt Sammon, the Tampa Bay Lightning Director of Broadcasting. Join us here:

After Game 5, join us again for your San Jose Sharks interactive postgame, Pucknology After Dark. We take your tweets, questions and perhaps have you join us on the air.

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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