[Open Thread] Game Seventy-One: St. Louis Blues at San Jose Sharks

Now in the home stretch of their "which warped Ouija board did they use to write this schedule" portion of the season, Los Tiburones de San José return home to face the Blues. Given how St. Louis has the second worst record in the Western Conference, no wonder they're blue. But hey, things are looking up now that they've signed legendary goal scorer Brad Boyes to a long-term contract. That'll get 'em to the promised land, right? Err... right?

Anyway, enough picking on a team when they're down. Of primary importance is how the Sharks are playing, which given how they've won ten straight obviously isn't poorly. While some more offense would be nice, overall the team is clicking like they haven't all year. Always good to see; now this year would y'all mind doing the same thing throughout the playoffs pretty please?

Unfortunately, San Jose isn't in a position to rest anyone in preparation for the post-season, except maybe inserting Brian Boucher in net for Evgeni Nabokov against one of the lesser lights remaining on the to be played list. Yes they are in first place in the Pacific Division, yes they have a decent hold on second place in the conference (six points ahead of Northwest Division-leading Colorado), yes after tonight they'll have two games in hand against both Dallas which is one point back in the division and Anaheim which is two points back. None of the above translates into kick back and catch a breather mode. Every game from now until the regular season's end is vital regardless of the opponent. Thankfully, during their win streak the Sharks have abandoned the dreaded 'play down to the level of a weaker opponent' mode they so often lapsed into earlier this season, so chances are good to excellent they'll bring their A game to the Tank tonight.

Okay, let's drop the puck.