San Jose won its fourth game in a row on Friday for the first time this season and tonight can make that season-best win streak one better while also sweeping this four-game road swing. The Sharks return to SAP Center on Tuesday for a contest against the Calgary Flames and can do so with a little road trip momentum in their back pocket.
First, they need to beat the Chicago Blackhawks for the second time this season. The Sharks played reasonably well against Chicago in their only meeting of the season and just beat the pants off Montreal for the first half of Friday’s contest before letting those pesky score effects get in the way of Martin Jones’ shutout.
Joel Ward spent Friday in the press box but I would be very surprised to see him spend his Sunday evening there. As such, someone will get to hang out there instead. My bet is on Micheal Haley, but perhaps there’s another “slumping” member of the Sharks’ forward core who will get a chance to think about why the guy with no goals gets to play while they do not. Who knows!
One thing feels certain: Martin Jones will get yet another start in net. He has played very well of late and Aaron Dell sure looks snazzy in a baseball cap. Plus, San Jose gets a nice Christmas break pretty soon, so what does Dell need playing time for? He’s fine.
The ‘Hawks are on the second half of a back-to-back having just beaten the Blues 6-4 on Saturday night. They trailed four different times but proved resilient against St. Louis, which I regret to inform the denizens of Missouri is very much not a recording.
Anaheim lost to Detroit on Saturday, which keeps the Sharks two points on top of the Ducks in the Pacific Division. A win against Chicago can increase San Jose’s lead to four games, though Anaheim would retain a game in hand. The Sharks, minus Tomas Hertl, are finally looking healthy again after a series of injury scares to key players of the lineup like David Schlemko, Logan Couture and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Puck drop is set for 4 p.m. on CSN California. You know the drill: Go Sharks.