With little left to play for in a competitive sense, as the Sharks' playoff odds took a near-fatal hit on Tuesday and now hover around 7%, it's time to shift to more development-oriented objectives as San Jose plays out the string on their disappointing 2014-15 season. To that end, Todd McLellan has finally assembled some sensible line combinations (about two months too late), giving Chris Tierney and Tomas Hertl a chance to get Patrick Marleau going while Logan Couture will center Matt Nieto and Tommy Wingels on what should be an excellent "third" line. Rookies Mirco Mueller and Daniil Tarasov also draw into the lineup, which hopefully indicates what we'll see the rest of the way here with fewer replacement-level veterans and bigger opportunities for the kids to sink or swim.
Tale Of The Tape
|34-28-8, 76 points
||Record||27-38-6, 60 points|
|5th in Pacific||Rank||7th in Atlantic
Projected Sharks Lineup
Joe Pavelski - Joe Thornton - Melker Karlsson
Patrick Marleau - Chris Tierney - Tomas Hertl
Matt Nieto - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels
Daniil Tarasov - Ben Smith - Barclay Goodrow
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Matt Irwin - Brent Burns
Mirco Mueller - Brenden Dillon
Projected Maple Leafs Lineup
Richard Panik - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
James van Riemsdyk - Trevor Smith - David Booth
Joffrey Lupul - Leo Komarov - Brandon Kozun
Zach Sill - Sam Carrick - Joakim Lindstrom
Jake Gardiner - Dion Phaneuf
Eric Brewer - Morgan Rielly
T.J. Brennan - Andrew MacWilliam
Patrick Marleau snapped a lengthy goal-less streak and Tyler Kennedy and Tommy Wingels also scored as the Sharks defeated the Leafs 3-1 on home ice in mid-January.
- Top Leafs center Nazem Kadri will serve the first game of his four-game suspension for a hit on Matt Fraser tonight.
- Get a good look at Jonathan Bernier, confirmed to be the Leafs' starter in net, as common sense as well as a slew of rumors indicate the Sharks will make a play for him this summer.