Sharks start nine game road trip with a tilt against the Blues

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4:00 PST
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30-16-6, 66 points 33-14-7, 73 points
3rd in Western Conference
4th in Western Conference

Television
CSN-CA
Radio
98.5 KFOX, Sjsharks.com
Antagonists
St. Louis Gametime
Post Dispatch

Late gameday here today so let's get down to brass tax...tacks...what the heck does that expression even mean? Conceptually one understands that it means to get down to the heart of the matter, the bare essentials, but if this is the best explanation the internet can come up with then I don't even know.

The Blues are a good team, a great one really, and one that should pose quite a formidable challenge for San Jose tonight. They're currently first in the NHL when it comes to carrying the play at even strength with the game tied, and as FTF author SnarkSD has pointed out this season with his Fenwick analysis, are on pace to eclipse the 100 point mark and lock down home ice advantage. The fact that they've been able to amass these kinds of totals in the NHL's toughest division this season is the icing on the cake in that regard.

Another bright spot for the Blues is the fact that they have activated center Andy McDonald, who missed 51 games with a concussion. He is available to play tonight for St. Louis, giving them yet another option to turn to for their stingy two-way team. McDonald has really struggled with injuries over the course of his NHL career but when he's healthy he is good for about 50 points per year. This addition, much like the one of Martin Havlat for San Jose, is essentially a trade deadline pickup that will improve the team from top to bottom.

Antti Niemi and Jaroslav Halak in the net tonight-- with a back to back matchup this probably indicates Thomas Greiss will start tomorrow night for San Jose against a Washington Capitals team that just lost 3-2 to New York.

Some other assorted morsels for you to greedily get your grubby hands on before tonight's game:

Puck drops at 4:07 PM. Use this as your gameday thread.

Prediction: Sharks win 2-1. Goals by McGinn and Pavelski.

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