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[Open Thread] Game Thirty-Two: San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks

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17-10-4
2nd in Pacific Division
4th in Western Conference
15-15-4
3rd in Pacific Division
11th in Western Conference

Welcome to this week's edition of Know Thy Enemy.

The Sharks get ready for the first of three games in seven days against their Orange County archrivals... just in time for Scott Niedermeyer to suit up for his first game with les Canards after the world's worst retirement.  Also, in a move that was both salary cap-dictated and made at least some sense hockey-wise, Doug Weight will be playing his first game for Anaheim after being traded along with prospect Michal Birner and a draft pick by St. Louis for Andy McDonald.  McDonald is six years younger than Weight and has a very good game.  But Weight isn't that much of a drop-off, at least in the immediate, and is much more of a leader than McDonald.  Birner might make the team next year as an okay but nothing special left winger.

So, does this make the Ducks a better team, therefore more of a threat to the Sharks?  We'll find out.  And find out.  And play the Coyotes.  And find out.  Look, division rivals and all that, but this schedule is ludicrous.  At least this first game is to San Jose's advantage... since it's in Anaheim.  If the Sharks played at home like they did on the road they'd be far and away the most dominant team in the NHL.  Too bad the other two games are at the Tank instead of the Pond!  That said, the Ducks have lost three of their last four home games.  So maybe it'll all even out.  Or something.  Oh, drop the puck already.