The San Jose Sharks are back on home ice after taking a two-game road trip up to Western Canada that didn’t end very well, but today’s 1 p.m. Pacific matinee against the St. Louis Blues may work to their advantage. First of all, they’re back at home, which can do wonders for a team’s mojo. Second of all, in their first and only meeting so far this season, the Sharks took a 2-1 win.
They may very well need a home ice boost, considering their recent record. Still not able to find the back of the net more than twice in a game lately–it’s been 17 straight games since they scored more than two goals, not counting the recent 3-2 shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks–and they’re 4-4-2 in their last 10 games.
For the sluggish Sharks scoring to pick up against the Blues, who are 5-4-1 in their last 10, they’ll need to look to guys like the once-prolific Patrick Marleau, who has 12 goals and 16 assists in his 58 career games with St. Louis. Joe Thornton is pretty much a point-per-game guy, stacking up nine goals and 29 assists in 38 games against the Blues. Defenseman Brad Stuart may also help out with helpers since he has 16 of them and four goals in 50 games. Ryane Clowe has six goals and nine helpers in 20 games.
Antti Niemi holds a 5-5-0 record, a 2.43 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in his career versus the Blues. Thomas Greiss was in for the Sharks’ 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames and his numbers against the Blues aren’t as good, so look for Niemi to get the nod.
Sharks coach Todd McLellan was not pleased with his team after their momentum took a huge nosedive against the Flames. A game tied at one after two periods morphed into a 4-1 Calgary win thanks to a strong third period. That’s something San Jose may be looking to change today: holding and keeping momentum.
This game will be shown on CSN California and NHL Network as part of their triple-header Saturday.