SAN JOSE — Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said that the Sharks will not make any changes to the lineup tonight, and will use the group they iced in their last game against Anaheim.
“I liked the ability to roll four lines,” DeBoer said. “I think they all carried momentum when they got out there [and] had positive impacts on the game. That’s what we’re looking for, and that’s why [there are] no lineup changes.”
Knowing that, the lines will look like this when the puck drops at 7:30 tonight:
Mikkel Boedker-Joe Thornton-Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi-Logan Couture-Joel Ward
Patrick Marleau-Tomas Hertl-Melker Karlsson
Micheal Haley-Chris Tierney-Tommy Wingels
Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Justin Braun
Paul Martin-Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon-David Schlemko
Defenseman Dylan DeMelo is still yet to dress in a game this season. Pete DeBoer said on Monday that DeMelo would play “soon,” but it appears that won’t be tonight. Backup goaltender Aaron Dell has yet to start since making his NHL debut in a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders nine days ago.
If I had to guess when the pair will play next, I’d say at some point in the next three games. Next Tuesday’s game in Arizona or Thursday’s tilt against Calgary seem like the likeliest times.
Projected Blue Jackets Lineup
Courtesy of ‘Lumbus themselves, here’s their projected lineup for tonight:
Defenseman Ryan Murray remains out with an upper-body injury that he suffered last Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks. The game was Murray’s first since injuring his foot against the Bruins in Columbus’ second game of the season.
Blue Jackets’ young top pairing “rare”
A 21-year-old defenseman leads the Columbus Blue Jackets in ice time (24:23 per game), and his 19-year-old partner on the blueline is tied for the team lead in scoring (5 points).
In five games together, Seth Jones and Zach Werenski have simply been one of the best defense pairings in the NHL. Among defensemen that have played at least 50 minutes together, they rank 9th in CF% and 26th in FF%, according to Corsica Hockey.
They’re even more impressive when compared to how their teammates do with the pair off of the ice. Jones and Werenski are the fifth-best pairing in terms of relative CF%, and 17th in relative FF%. Those marks are the second, and fourth, respectively, among any defense pairing the Sharks have faced this season.
That they’ve been able to do so in their fourth and first seasons, respectively? That’s all the more impressive, according to Pete DeBoer.
“It’s rare, and those guys are special. There’s no other word for it,” DeBoer said. “You look at just watching the tape, and how effective they are of transitioning the puck and joining the rush and creating offense from back there. They’re two special players.
“When NHL coaches are talking about them in their pre-scout and in the pregame meeting, and you’re 22, 21-years-old, that’s as good a compliment as you can get.”
Quote of the Day
Pete DeBoer on the Sharks’ travel plans for their one-game trip to Arizona, and why they’re leaving a day earlier than usual:
We’re gonna get out on the road and spend a little time together, and Arizona’s a nice place to get in a little early.