The Sharks begin a four-game road trip in Toronto tonight against the Maple Leafs at 4:30 p.m. PT. When San Jose last played at the Air Canada Center, it snuck away with a 5-4 overtime victory that helped the Sharks win four out of five on their road trip.
This Toronto team is substantially better than the one the Sharks faced a season ago, granted, but the Sharks, injuries or no, should handle them without too much trouble. The Leafs lost to the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Sunday despite shelling Semyon Varlamov; that’s become something of a trend for Toronto this season.
The Leafs boast a very talented forward group, but goaltending and defense has been an issue all season. Toronto doesn’t have the kind of depth that makes the Sharks a dominant team in the Western Conference, but it boasts the kind of top-notch talent that can pose San Jose all kinds of problems.
San Jose beat Carolina on Saturday to split the season series with the Hurricanes and stay in a playoff spot in the Pacific Division. The Sharks recalled Mirco Mueller as they head to Toronto, suggesting David Schlemko may not be ready to go tonight. It’s also perfectly likely San Jose is bringing Mueller along as insurance with Marc-Edouard Vlasic not all that close to a return.
You’ll notice I haven’t noticed Timo Meier since the subhead of this article. That’s because the Sharks didn’t call him up on Monday, which should prove once and for all that I’m not actually Wilson in disguise. Maybe after the road trip, Timo.
The Sharks play in the second-half of a back-to-back against the Senators on Tuesday night. Martin Jones may very well get both starts given the three full days off since losing to Anaheim on Friday. San Jose continues its road trip in Montreal before wrapping it up in Chicago.