The game tonight is between two teams who have been polar opposites during this young season. The San Jose Sharks now aim to flip the script as they begin a five-game east coast road trip starting Friday against the red-hot New Jersey Devils (6-1-0).
The Sharks are coming off their best and highest scoring performance of the season defeating the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. However, the Devils have won three-straight and beat the Ottawa Senators 5-4 in overtime in their last outing, maintaining one of the best records in the league.
If there’s any team who’s in need of points, it’s the Sharks who boast a 2-3-0 record. But getting those points won’t be an easy task facing this prolific offensive team who ranks second in goals per game (4.3) and seventh in power play percentage.
The Devils are fully healthy and on a roll led by Taylor Hall who ranks top 10 in assists, notching four assists in the overtime victory.
With the Sharks currently ranked 21st in goals per game (2.6), keeping up or slowing down the Devils offense will be the primary focus.
Logan Couture looks to build off his best performance this season, finally breaking through posting a two goal, two assist game. He’s not the only player who’s had a slow start; notable names like Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and others have failed to contribute at the rate we’re accustomed to seeing. This road trip is the perfect time to change that narrative.
Despite Cory Schneider leaving the last game after two periods due to a lower body injury, Keith Kinkaid will be the goalie and was scheduled to do so, according to NHL.com. Martin Jones will be in net for the Sharks.
With the season still fresh, this may not be a game the Sharks desperately need to win, but it will be an important test against one of the league’s current premier teams.