Sharks try to gain foothold against struggling Wild



3:00 PST
32-21-7, 71 points 27-25-9, 63 points
Oh man oh man oh man in Western Conference 12th in Western Conference

98.5 KFOX,
Hockey Wilderness
Russo's Rants

Sorry that it's taken so long for a game day to come to fruition, but we're still reeling from two loses: one that sadly ended SJSU's season, and another which puts the Sharks in a spiral and currently in 7th in the Western Conference.

Oh man oh man oh man.

The Sharks still have two games in hand on almost everyone in the conference, but with the way they have been playing lately, it's not a given they'll earn all, if any, of the points they have.

It's not the easiest time to be a Sharks fan right now, but try being a Wild fan instead. Once flying high as the number one team in the NHL (standings-wise, at least), the Wild are now likely looking at another year without a playoff berth. Why the precipitous fall?

It's because despite the winning wave the Wild rode for weeks and weeks, their underlying numbers were horrible. You can believe or disbelieve in advanced statistics as much as you like, but the Wild's implosion is a pretty good indication that advanced statistics may have something going for them, at least in this one case.

Let's hope they shine true again.

The Sharks underlying numbers have been good this year, and although they've had a miserable ten game stretch, it's hard for me to believe that this will continue long. At least I hope not.

Sadly, the Sharks have been destroyed by poor goaltending and defense lately. I'm still sold that Antti Niemi is an above average league goaltender, lately he just doesn't have it. Thomas Greiss hasn't been so hot himself, so it's been a struggle.

Against Minnesota, though, I'm hoping my beliefs start to become reality.

Prediction: Sharks win 4-1. Goals by McGinn, Couture, Marleau and Colin White.