One year ago to the day, the Winnipeg Jets hosted the San Jose Sharks at the MTS Centre. I was there and watched the team come out flat and allowed the Sharks to score the game winning goal with mere seconds left in the game. The goal was scored in the zone that I was in and I've never witnessed the crowd become so deflated in an instant in my life. A tough loss against the Arizona Coyotes on New Year's Eve sends them deeper into the hole that they still haven't come out of since November. This road trip is an absolute make or break for the team and if they can't pull it off, Chevy better break out the For Sale sign for his roster.
I am really enjoying the pairing of Byfuglien-Trouba. My prayers were answered and Jacob Trouba has been taken away from Mark Stuart. Now all we need to do is get Nikolaj Ehlers away from Chris Thorburn. As of the writing of this article, it has not been revealed who the starting goaltender is, but if it ends up being Connor Hellebuyck, it will be his 11th start in 13 games. Those numbers to me seem to scream "here to stay" to some extent but if this team does nose dive during the road trip do they still send him back down to the Moose and embrace the tank duo of Michael Hutchinson and Ondrej Pavelec? You can never tell with this team if they are going for it or packing it in when speaking about the management side of things. All signs point to them still trying to make the playoffs but the numbers show. that that is simply a fool's errand at this point.
I have really liked Joel Armia's play as of late. He may have had a slight hiccup or two when he first started out with this team but has found his groove. Speaking of grooves, is it too early to say Adam Lowry has found his again since being brought back up from his stint with the Moose?
I can't stand this teams inability to stop taking penalties. After five years, enough is enough. Last year it was reported that Paul Maurice was fine with the amount of penalties taken because once they made the playoffs the refs would put their whistles away and it wouldn't become a factor anymore. The problem is, that plan is back firing and one of the many reasons this team isn't going to make the playoffs in the first place.
San Jose Sharks
No longer the perennial Stanley Cup chokers that they once were, the San Jose Sharks are one of the many bubble teams in the Western conference, sitting at ninth and merely a single point out of a playoff spot. After bidding farewell to Annti Niemi, the Sharks have appointed Martin Jones as their new starting goaltender. Jones through thirty games has posted a 2.47 GAA and a .912 SV%. Joe Pavelski has been their strongest player throughout the season with 38 points in 36 games. Defenseman Brent Burns sits behind him with 33.
The Sharks have played much better on the road with a record of 13-6-2. Meanwhile, at home they have only racked up five wins.
3-1 Sharks. The tank continues!