The Sharks (33-20-8, 2nd Pacific) limp into Chicago tonight to hopefully take out some frustration on the newly bad Blackhawks (26-27-8, 7th Central). After spending the better part of a decade as a dominant force for evil in the NHL, the Hawks seem to have finally succumbed to the slings and arrows of salary cap fortune, and sit squarely in the Central division basement, eight points behind the Colorado Avalanche and 12 points back of the St. Louis Blues for the second Western conference wild card spot.
The big yellow elephant in the room is San Jose's 7-1 submission to the Nashville Predators last night. After winning three in a row and five of their past six, the Sharks and Aaron Dell went into Nashville hot and left Frozen. This will have to be one of those games of which the coaching staff burns the tape, because the Sharks are back in action less than 24 hours later.
The Blackhawks are falling into despondency. They're 2-7-1 in their last ten games, despite winning two of their last three, the most recent being a 3-2 win over the also-doomed Ottawa Senators. Patrick Kane still leads the team in points (57), goals (23) and assists (34) despite being one of the salary cap anchors around general manager Stan Bowman's neck, and a bad person (yeah, yeah, I know, "allegedly"). Seeing Chicago so firmly in the "sellers" category approaching Monday's trade deadline is still a strange and unfamiliar proposition.
Still, tonight is a bit opportunity for the Sharks to fight through the fatigue of a travel day and bank two points against a non-contender. Help us forget.
Timo Meier -- Joe Pavelski -- Joonas Donskoi
Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Kevin Labanc
Mikkel Boedker -- Chris Tierney -- Jannik Hansen
Barclay Goodrow -- Eric Fehr -- Melker Karlsson
Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo
Scratched: Marcus Sorensen, Tim Heed, Paul Martin
Injured: Joe Thornton (knee), Joel Ward (shoulder)
Head coach Pete Deboer seems confident in the group that sank into the Tennessee mire last night, it looks like the coaching staff is content to record that massacre as a one off, and give the boys another shot.
Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Tommy Wingels
Tomas Jurco -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane
Alex DeBrincat -- Nick Schmaltz -- Anthony Duclair
Vinnie Hinostroza -- David Kampf -- Ryan Hartman
Duncan Keith -- Jordan Oesterle
Connor Murphy -- Brent Seabrook
Erik Gustafsson -- Jan Rutta
Scratched: Lance Bouma, Carl Dahlstrom, Patrick Sharp
Injured: Corey Crawford (upper body), Michal Rozsival (upper body)
Look at that top line Tommy Wingels action! Our boy's all grown up!
Where to watch
Broadcast: NBCSCA, WGN
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App