Let’s kick things off with the Tank for Bedard standings, which have taken a turn for the better for San Jose Sharks fans in the past few days.
The Sharks have fallen behind the Chicago Blackhawks in the standings and now sit at 31st overall in the NHL. San Jose has played 66 games and earned 50 points. That’s one game more than the Blackhawks, which have the same number of points and two games more than the Columbus Blue Jackets, which have 47 points and sit 32nd overall.
The Anaheim Ducks and Arizona Coyotes are starting to gain some separation in the standings. The Ducks have 53 points (three more than the Sharks) with the same number of games played. Meanwhile, the Coyotes have 56 points (six more than the Sharks) with one fewer game played.
16 games to go in the season, folks.
Wild at Sharks
To today’s game, where the Sharks will play host to the Minnesota Wild. The Wild are in a race of its own, this one to hold on to one of the three playoff spots in the Central Division and potentially take over the first spot in the standings.
A week ago, it looked like Minnesota was in a good position to do so, but then star forward Kirill Kaprizov was injured when Logan Stanley fell on top of him.
Kirill Kaprizov heads to the locker room after Logan Stanley falls on him. pic.twitter.com/UcjofxGpKW— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 9, 2023
Kaprizov will miss the next three to four weeks with a “lower body” injury. Kaprizov is the Wild’s top scorer, so that may be a tough pill to swallow.
On the San Jose side of things, William Eklund has acquitted himself well during his most recent stint with the Sharks. Eklund has played four games for the Sharks and has just one assist, but his linemate Tomas Hertl likes what he sees.
“I think so far was the best game. He played well, you know, he’s smart kid, you know, try and work hard,” said Hertl after Thursday’s loss in St. Louis. “He’s smart with the puck, making small little plays and he just keep working like that as he’s working now. I believe in him. He got a big, big future for us.
“But, you know, he has to just stay positive. I think he a little frustrated, you know, because we got couple of chances, but most important he made the chances and, you know, I think we building a little chemistry and I think it was maybe the best game for us,” Hertl continued. “We have a lot of good chances, but we have to just keep working and try be every game better.”
San Jose Sharks
As for game day, here’s what you need to know.
Goals Leader: Logan Couture (22 G, 31 A)
Assists Leader: Erik Karlsson (20 G, 63 A)
Power Play: 17.5%
Penalty Kill: 83.1%
Goals For/60: 2.88
Goals Against/60: 3.73
Fabian Zetterlund – Tomas Hertl – William Eklund
Andreas Johnsson – Logan Couture – Alexander Barabanov
Noah Gregor – Nico Sturm – Evgeny Svechnikov
Kevin Labanc – Steven Lorentz – Oskar Lindblom
Nikolai Knyzhov – Erik Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Matt Benning
Mario Ferraro – Derrick Pouliot
Expected Scratches: None
Injured Reserve: Luke Kunin (knee), Markus Nutivaara (lower body), Jonah Gadjovich (upper body), Radim Simek (upper body), Jacob MacDonald (undisclosed)
Goals Leader: Kirill Kaprizov (39 G, 35 A)
Assists Leader: Mats Zuccarello (20 G, 39 A)
Power Play: 22.0%
Penalty Kill: 82.8%
Goals For/60: 2.75
Goals Against/60: 2.57
Sam Steel — Ryan Hartman — Mats Zuccarello
Marcus Johansson — Joel Eriksson Ek — Matt Boldy
Marcus Foligno — Frederick Gaudreau — Oskar Sundqvist
Mason Shaw — Connor Dewar — Ryan Reaves
Jake Middleton — Jared Spurgeon
Alex Coligoski — Matt Dumba
Jon Merrill — John Klingberg
Expected Scratches: Calen Addison
Injured Reserve: Kirill Kaprizov (lower body), Jonas Brodin (lower body), Gustav Nyquist (shoulder), Brandon Duhaime (upper body)
How to watch
Today’s game will be broadcast regionally on NBCSCA. Streaming is available with a subscription to ESPN+ (blackout restrictions may apply). The radio call will be streamed through the Sharks Audio Network. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET at SAP Center in San Jose.
In Minnesota, you can watch on BSN and BSWI. The game will also be aired on SN NOW.
Check back then to follow along with all of the play-by-play action in the comment section below!