If you thought tonight’s contest in San Jose was all but a meaningless hockey game, you’d be wrong.
The Jets can still play the role of spoiler and better yet, nab that ever elusive third win in a row for the first time this season.
At this point the only thing left to figure out playoff seeding in the Western Conference and one of the teams fighting for position is the San Jose Sharks who need to win their last two games and then hope either the Ducks or the Kings lose their remaining games in order to sneak into the number two seed in the Pacific division and thus home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Sharks are also looking to win their third game in a row and fifth in the last six games. They followed up a gritty 3-2 come from behind shootout win in Nashville with a 3-0 shutout win in Minnesota.
The season series between the two teams is knotted up at 1 win each as both teams took turns winning on the other’s home rink within a span of ten days in January with the Jets winning in San Jose on January 2nd and the Sharks returning the favor in Winnipeg January 12th.
Courtesy of Daily Faceoff
Winnipeg Jets (33-39-8)
The point streaks for both Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler continue on although it took overtime to do so as it’s eight games for Mark and nine for Blake. Marko Dano scored his 5th of the season on Tuesday to tie things up against the Ducks. Brendan Tanev made his debut on Thursday in place of Matt Halischuk, no word as of time of writing if that will continue tonight.
Trouba continued his strong play and has a modest two game points streak going. He’s one point off matching his point total from last season.
Pavelec is confirmed in net tonight for the Jets after Hutch provided the goaltending in Anaheim.
San Jose Sharks (45-29-6)
Joe Thornton – who has been labeled as ‘washed-up’ more times than anyone would like to admit – continues to lead the Sharks in points with 79 and is on a five game point streak of his own. Joe Pavelski has 26 goals and has been on the receiving end of most of Thornton’s 61 assists. The Sharks overall boast five 20+ goal scorers, four of them being forwards…
… and one of them being defenseman Brent Burns who has 27 goals and should get some serious consideration for the Norris Trophy this season.
No confirmed starter as of writing time but you have to suspect it would be James Reimer who has been red-hot the last couple of games for San Jose and has made the Sharks think twice of who the starter will be going into the playoffs.
Game Day Prediction: As much as I wouldn’t mind picking a Jets win, history with the lack of being able to get that third win suggests that tonight is San Jose’s night… Screw it, I’m still taking the Jets to win 3-2.
Obvious Prediction: The easy prediction would be to say Scheifele scores right? Sure, let’s go with that.
No so Obvious Prediction: Brent Burns gets into a skirmish with Mark Stuart and laughs as Stu tries to punch him in the face, but feels nothing as his beard absorbs the force of any and all punches.