The Sharks host the Anaheim Ducks to finish a back-to-back in their fourth game of a five-game homestand. Both San Jose and Anaheim played on Friday but finished with different results. The Sharks beat the Islanders thanks to Patrick Marleau’s third period heroics while Anaheim fell to Chicago in regulation.
It took overtime for San Jose to beat the Ducks in their first and only meeting of the season to this point, but after Anaheim lost to Chicago the Ducks find themselves out of a playoff spot. Conventional wisdom says teams in a playoff spot after Black Friday tend to stay there; I’m skeptical of that, but sitting outside the playoffs a quarter of the way through the season isn’t what Anaheim had in mind.
Or, I assume they didn’t have that in mind. The Ducks hired Randy Carlyle to be their head coach, so it’s not particularly clear what Anaheim wanted to do this season at all, besides perhaps offering an opportunity to blame its star players for everything after blaming Bruce Boudreau last season.
Anaheim is under 50 percent at 5v5 corsi-for percentage and fenwick-for percentage (score and venue adjusted from corsica.hockey). That’s a new wrinkle for the Ducks, who traditionally are one of the better possession teams in the league. Perhaps they figure throwing the kitchen sink at poor play will result in better luck. Who knows.
San Jose, despite winning three in a row, has struggled to find the right lineup with Tomas Hertl on the shelf. Melker Karlsson could return tonight after missing the past few games and expect to see Martin Jones back between the pipes after Aaron Dell’s admirable performance on Friday.
The game is set for 7:30 p.m. at SAP Center. A win by the Sharks would put them in sole possession of first place as the Oilers currently sit one point ahead of San Jose. The Sharks close out their homestand on Tuesday against Arizona, who are 2-0 against San Jose this year.