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Sharks vs. Wild Preview: San Jose heads to the State of Hockey

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The Sharks begin a two-game road in trip in the State of Hockey as they take on the Minnesota Wild at 3 p.m. There’s a chance we’ll get our first look at Jannik Hansen in teal, though given the seemingly never ending immigration process I’m not holding my breath.

At the very least we’re getting a potential playoff preview between a pair of very good Western Conference teams; hopefully the terrible start time doesn’t ruin it. San Jose lost the only previous meeting between the teams after giving up three-straight goals in the third period. Let’s not do that again.

The Wild continue to be a mediocre fenwick team but their great goaltending and shooting has them in second place in the Central. Minnesota boasts incredible depth in scoring with 10 players in double digits in goals. Compare that to a whopping four Sharks in double figures. Must be nice.

San Jose is looking for its fourth win in a row and has points in eight games in a row. The Sharks hold a five-point lead in the Pacific with two games in hand after Edmonton took down the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday nights. Minnesota enters the game having won three of their last five and trails the Blackhawks by just one point with three games in hand.

I don’t know if I buy the Wild as a Stanley Cup contender, even after acquiring Martin Hanzal, but if Dubnyk keeps playing the way he is... who knows. The Wild also have four guys shooting more than 15 percent who have double digit goals. I’m not saying I think these numbers are unsustainable, but this is absolutely what I’m saying.

Whatever. Go Sharks.