It has quickly become the norm for this team to look great one game, and then leave you wondering how they could look so bad the next.
On Thursday night, the Sharks beat the Kings in every aspect of the game. They played tough, they battled along the boards, they got scoring from unlikely sources. Then Saturday came along, and with an opportunity to push ahead of these same Kings in the standings, they went back to their slow, stale, turning the puck over with reckless abandon style of play. And obviously, they lost that game 5-2.
Not to worry though, the Sharks now have a chance at redemption, an opportunity to show the world that they are indeed the same top-quality team that beat the Kings so handily last week. All they have to do is beat an Anaheim team who is currently second in the league in points, with only one more regulation loss than Chicago. I mean, seriously, if it wasn’t for Chicago’s amazing streak, everyone in the hockey world would be talking about Anaheim and how amazing their season has been thus far.
I hate to say it, but there is just no way the Sharks win this game tonight. The Ducks beat the Sharks five out of six games last season, and that was a Ducks team who was way out of playoff contention. We’re talking about a good Ducks team now. Anaheim has a 98.9% chance of making the playoffs. San Jose is at only 53.7%. To say that the Sharks need this win more is an understatement. The season series is tied between these two clubs going into tonight’s game, which to me means the Sharks have already gotten their win against Anaheim for the season.
Luckily, the schedule over the next week looks good, assuming San Jose can stay competitive against the Ducks. After tonight, they head to Edmonton on Wednesday, Minnesota on Saturday, before a home and home against these same Ducks next Monday and Wednesday. The Sharks can really build some confidence off a win tonight. However, they can also find themselves in a free fall with another loss.
Huge game tonight in Anaheim. Let’s go Sharks.
(Inaccurate) Prediction: Ducks win 4-1…ugh.