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Sharks vs. Blue Jackets Preview: Looking for a cleaner game

San Jose aims for a season sweep.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks host the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight for the only time this season and look to sweep John Tortorella’s team after taking the Jackets down on the road two weeks ago. If they play a cleaner game than the last time these teams faced, the Sharks are in business.

The Blue Jackets have gone 2-0-1 since losing to the Sharks in their second game of the season, giving Columbus a nice little three-game point streak. Those wins came against good teams, too. The Jackets beat both Chicago and Dallas in regulation and it took overtime for the Kings to come back to take both points.

With that being said, the Jackets haven’t really played all that well in those games. Their penalty rates have been quite good, the best in both categories as it turns out, but don’t expect the Jackets to score at a 50 percent clip on the power play this year. They have been an average possession team, which is actually relatively impressive given who’s standing behind their bench, but shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the Sharks so long as they don’t get caught looking forward.

San Jose hosts Nashville on Saturday to close out the three-game homestand, so if there’s a trap game ... it’s this one. If there’s a bit of #narrative going the Sharks way it’s that they just didn’t play all that well against the Blue Jackets in their second game of the year. Perhaps that will serve as a reminder to the Sharks they need to play a cleaner game to win in the NHL — or maybe none of this crap matters anyway.

Based on yesterday’s morning skate, it seems Micheal Haley may stay in the San Jose lineup. He played in the Sharks’ wins against Anaheim and the Islanders this season, but was scratched following the win in Brooklyn. Aaron Dell has still only started one game this year, and I’d be surprised to see him get a start during this homestand.

The Sharks are back on CSN California tonight and if you can’t get to a TV there’s always KFOX. Go Sharks!

Game 1
vs.
Thursday, Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. PT
SAP Center, San Jose, California, USA
Get the Columbus perspective at The Cannon
How to Watch / Listen In San Jose
Stats and Figures
4-3-0 Record 2-2-1
3rd in Pacific Standings 7th in Metropolitan
57.16% Even Strength, Score-Adj. Fenwick 50.17%
96.66 PDO 97.02
16.0 PP% 50.0
81.8 PK% 94.1