Sharks Gameday: Deep Pacific

72_medium

@

7:30 PST
Dmo1xf3z4pph27vmg3gf_medium
17-10-2, 36 points 15-10-4, 34 points
2nd in Western Conference
7th in Western Conference

Television
CSN-CA
Radio
98.5 KFOXSjsharks.com
Antagonists
Defending Big D
Razor With An Edge

It wasn't supposed to be this way.

No disrespect to Dallas, Phoenix and Anaheim, but not many suspected that they would be neck and neck with San Jose and Los Angeles in the Pacific Division race more than a quarter of the way through the 2010-2011 NHL Season.

Well, neck and neck isn't really the right term...


Pacific Standings

GP W L OTL PT
Dallas 29 17 10 2 36
Phoenix 28 14 8 6 34
San Jose 29 15 10 4 34
Anaheim 32 15 13 4 34
Los Angeles 27 16 10 1 33

(updated 12.12.2010 at 5:41 AM PST)


Dallas, surprisingly, has been the class of the division for the entire year, while San Jose and Los Angeles have meandered through the first few months of the season. And while I may not be able to wax poetic about Dallas the same way that Plank can, I'll give them the respect that they deserve for their early season success.

Just like the Sharks' struggles, though, I'm inclined to believe that the Stars won't be leading the Pacific for long. Don't get me wrong, I'm thoroughly impressed with their season thus far and especially their forwards; James Neal is quickly becoming one of the best players in the Western Conference, and Loui Eriksson continues to score in bunches. Brad Richards, who leads the team with 34 points this season, is having a renaissance year.

However, they're winning despite their power play and penalty kill, which rank 22nd and 27th in the league, respectively. Somehow, though, they're finding a way to win... even with league average goals for and goals against numbers.

The Sharks, on the other hand, boast the 7th best power play and the 14th ranked penalty kill. They're getting an average of three goals a game, and have looked better as of late... something that their 4-2 record in December would suggest.

It's not all a numbers game, though, and Dallas deserves any and all accolades for their strong season. The fact remains that Dallas holds a two point edge in the standings over San Jose, no matter who thinks they are deserved of it or not.

That could change tonight, though, as the Sharks can tie Dallas in the points standings with a regulation win (they'd still be behind them in terms of wins, though). It would be cathartic for a Sharks team who lost a heartbreaker against the Stars on November 18th. Leading by two goals with just minutes left, the Stars manhandled San Jose and gave their home town fans a thrilling win in overtime.

We'll hope the Sharks will be able to provide a similar treat for the city of San Jose tonight.

Prediction: Sharks win 3-1. Goals by Couture, Heatley and Marleau.

In This Article

Teams

Team Shop

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot username?

We'll email it to you.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Try another email?

Forgot username?

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Fear The Fin

You must be a member of Fear The Fin to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Fear The Fin. You should read them.

Join Fear The Fin

You must be a member of Fear The Fin to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Fear The Fin. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker