Well, in a curious case of Mirco Mueller, yours truly has been selected to bring you tonight’s preview featuring the Ottawa Senators and your San Jose Sharks. So here’s 14 thoughts you should know prior to going to the Shark Tank, watching on CSN California, streaming on NHL.tv or the NBC Sports app:
1. Mirco Mueller Called Up
Sounds like David Schlemko who looked banged up on Friday night against Montreal is a no go. Dylan DeMelo is inserted into the lineup recreating Dylan/Dillon twin unit. Mirco Mueller gets called up from the Barracuda as an insurance defenseman in case any of the six slated to play gets Timonucleosis.
2. Couture, One Screw Loose
With the four day layoff, Logan Couture used that time to get a screw removed from his ankle. This of course was the ankle he injured at the beginning of last season. It was reportedly swollen earlier this week for practice, but all indications are he’s good to go.
3. Layoff Letdown?
Four days off is nice for this team, for that matter, San Jose will have two more prior to the trade deadline. This team historically has been sluggish to bounce back from an extended time off. Every point matters, it can push other teams to stress in March or be intimidated by San Jose to grab points early and often.
4. DeBoer on Layoff
“I know we’re recharged mentally and physically, but we’ve got to find that level again as quickly as possible and hopefully it doesn’t take too long tonight.”
5. Knocked Out of First
Since Friday night’s Pucknology After Dark, the San Jose Sharks went from up three points on Anaheim and Edmonton in the Pacific Division. Entering tonight’s action, San Jose is one point behind Edmonton and Calgary is sitting one point behind San Jose. The good news is that the Sharks have three games in hand on Edmonton, four on Calgary, one on Anaheim. Plus, San Jose has two more regulation / overtime wins (ROW) than anyone else in the division.
6. Sharks Projected Lines
Outside Schlemko out and DeMelo in, the lineup remains unchanged
Marleau – Thornton – Pavelski
Karlsson – Couture – Ward
Boedker – Tierney – Donskoi
Labanc – Wingels – Haley
Martin – Burns
Vlasic – Braun
Dillon – DeMelo
7. Ottawa Perhaps Beaten On and Off the Ice?
The Senators start their California swing of the road trip where they came into town yesterday after losing at Pittsburgh 8-5, in a score the 1980’s NHL would love. The East Coast bias has started showing with such a long trip out for a team who played Monday night. To which PDB provided this quote
“I find it sometimes a little comical when I hear Eastern teams complaining about travel and road trips. I read something that they were not happy with their schedule. Give me a break,” DeBoer said with a smile. “It’s what we deal with, and you do the best you can.”
A reminder, Pittsburgh who won the Stanley Cup last year didn’t travel out of the Eastern time zone from mid January til June when they played in San Jose for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
8. Erik “Spelled The Right Way” Karlsson
Ottawa’s captain is straight up the Eastern Conference equivalent to Brent Burns (minus Burnzie’s beard, toothless smile, and pizza eating in the postgame media scrum.) He just took over as the NHL’s leading defenseman in points (6 goals, 18 assists) from Burns, and a three time Norris trophy finalist, winning twice. In the 8-5 loss to the Penguins on Monday, he has a goal and three assists.
9. Net Protected With Condon
Mike Condon, recently acquired from Pittsburgh, will get the start for Ottawa. (BACKUP ALERT!) Condon is 3-1-1 with a 1.73 GAA, .973 save percentage, two shutouts in his time in Canada’s capital city. This guy has been unreal for the Sens and part of the reason as they are in second place in the Atlantic Division.
10. Bobby Ryan Returns
11. Good Vibes to Nichole
Part of the reason Condon is in Ottawa is due to the battle of Nichole Anderson, wife of Sens netminder, Craig Anderson. is battling cancer. She was diagnosed in the first month of the season, to which Craig was en route to the family home in Florida to be by her side. However, she urged him to go with the team (especially after Andrew Hammond went down with a groin injury.) The following game, Anderson had a shutout and an emotional celebration in Edmonton.
Many of us have dealt with cancer, so it goes without saying, sending our positive thoughts and good vibes to the Anderson family. Fight on Nichole, San Jose is with you.
12. Sens In N Outs
Not that they will make a pit stop at the burger place on the way to Southern California but Bobby Ryan out a bit with a finger injury, will make his return. He is likely slated on the second line with Ryan Dzingel and Kyle Turris.
13. Fin Flashback
Who could forget this unreal goal on Throwback Night
14. After The Game It’s Pucknology After Dark
Join the CHOMPversation after Sens and Sharks go final on Pucknology After Dark. Join the YouTube chat or use the hashtag #PucknologyAD to share your input tonight.