Just the facts
When: Tonight, 10:30 PM ET
Where: SAP Center - San Jose, CA
How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Rival SBN site: Fear the Fin
Know your enemy
- 12-20-7, 31 PTS, 7th in the Pacific Division
- Erik Karlsson: 13G-40A-53PTS; Timo Meier: 21G-17A-38PTS; Tomas Hertl: 13G-23A-36PTS
- James Reimer: 7-11-3, 3.18 GAA, .896 save percentage
- It probably isn’t the first time, but for what feels like the first time this season, the Bruins will be the “rested” (as much as you can be with travel) team facing an opponent in the second game of a back-to-back — the Sharks played the Ducks in Anaheim last night, a game that hadn’t started when I did this preview.
- It’s been a tough season for the Sharks, and the month of December essentially sunk any chance at making the playoffs, per our friends at Fear the Fin.
- Still, the Sharks have some firepower, as you can see from the team leaders above — along with those guys, Logan Couture and Alexander Barbanov are also off to solid starts.
- No, those aren’t typos: Erik Karlsson is having something of a renaissance year, with a ridiculous 53 points in just 39 GP. Karlsson is about set to eclipse his point total from the last two seasons combined (57 points in 102 games). His contract still looks pretty ridiculous, especially for a bad team, but he can still put on a show.
- The Sharks were 4-4-2 in their last ten games prior to last night’s tilt against Anaheim. They’re just 4-10-2 at SAP Center this season.
- With some decent offensive firepower, you wouldn’t expect the Sharks to sit second from the bottom of the Pacific. However, they’re allowing the seventh-most goals-against per game in the league and haven’t really been getting great numbers from their goalies. You can certainly argue whether that’s the goalies’ fault or the team defense’s, but both Reimer and Kaapo Kahkonen have sub-.900 save percentages and Kahkonen’s GAA is at 3.71.
- Weirdly enough for a team that allows a ton of goals, the Sharks have the league’s second-best penalty kill (behind the Bruins).
- The Bruins shouldn’t have a ton going on heading into the game. No one appeared worse for the wear after the LA win, so aside from expecting Linus Ullmark in net, we may see the exact same lineup.
- These two teams will play each other again just over two weeks from now at TD Garden.
See ya tonight...unless I fall asleep first!