We all remember how the first meeting between the Sharks and Bruins went. Martin Jones got yanked from the game, Boston beat the ever living crap out of San Jose and frankly if you made it to the third period and don’t get paid to watch the Sharks I worry about you.
Today, San Jose can fix things. The Sharks and Bruins face off at 5:30 p.m. at SAP Center in San Jose’s final game before its five-day bye week. A win by the Sharks puts them six points in front of Edmonton in the Pacific with thoughts of Disneyland and Las Vegas vacations firmly in mind.
First they need to get there. The last time San Jose saw Boston the Bruins had just fired head coach Claude Julien and it’s fair to say the Sharks walked right into a scheduled loss. That doesn’t excuse the effort on display from Team Teal, who looked like they just woke up from their first high school party with someone else’s pants.
A convincing-ish win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday featured a dominant scoring performance by the fourth line (hell yeah Melker Karlsson! Micheal Haley’s first goal of the year!) and a pair of goals by Brent Burns. I probably don’t have to tell you life will be more difficult against the Bruins, who won each of their next two games after beating the Sharks. Boston took its bye week prior to today’s contest so perhaps San Jose’s greatest hope of an easy day is catching the Bruins sleeping.
Nikolay Goldobin had a pair of decent scoring opportunities in his 2016-17 NHL debut but posted mediocre possession numbers. He was a -2 at even strength (Haley was a team-worst -7, go figure). The first period wasn’t a pretty one for the the third line as a whole (hell, it wasn’t pretty for anyone save The Good, the Boed and the Ugly Line and the fourth line) but the Tomas Hertl - Joel Ward - Goldobin line grew into the game as it went along.
Goldobin showed both the offensive instincts we hoped for and some decent defensive play. I’ve been an outspoken supporter of his play in the American Hockey League and frankly am not too concerned with his defensive play. The Sharks have great two-way players and need scorers. Let the chips fall where they may on defense. Still, he can’t be accused of taking shifts off in the defensive end and that bodes well for his future with the franchise.
You can catch today’s game on NBC Sports — you won’t want to miss it. This is your last chance to see the Sharks until they take on the Canucks on the road at 7:30 p.m. PT on Feb. 25. Clear your calendar, kids. This should be fun.