Moving on from their embarrassing 7-4 loss against the Ducks on Tuesday, the Jets are looking to turn the page against the 4-8-1 Sharks. For San Jose, their team will be attempting to accomplish something very similar to the Jets tonight at the SAP Arena. The Sharks have lost three straight games and have allowed a total of 14 goals over that span, as their team will be seeking to turn things around against the Jets.
So, let’s dive into the headlines and storylines you’ll need to focus on before puck drop tonight.
1) Clean Scoring Opportunites
Entering tonight’s game, the Jets have been forced to grind for almost every single shot on net their team has attempted. Despite averaging the eighth-most shots on goal per game (33.7), the Jets have also recorded the fourth-most missed shots on net (161) throughout the entire league this season.
However, the Jets should be able to turn all those missed shooting attempts into high percentage scoring chances in this game against the Sharks. Coming into this game, the Sharks have blocked the sixth-fewest number of shots (155) in the entire league. So, that means the Jets should be posied for a high-scoring affair in San Jose tonight.
2) Dueling in The Faceoff Circle
Through 13 games this season, both the Jets and the Sharks have been two of the better faceoff winning teams in the league. Currently, the Jets are sitting ninth (51.4%) with the Sharks (50.9%) just behind them at tenth in the league for the best FOW percentage. Individually, all four of the Jets’ lines will be in for an intense battle on the faceoff dot.
Comparing each center against one another, Mark Scheifele owns a 49.8% FOW percentage and will likely be facing off against Logan Couture who owns a 47.5% FOW percentage this season. Next, Bryan Little who’s earned a 44.6% FOW percentage will likely be lining up against Tomas Hertl who’s produced a 54.3% FOW percentage.
The third-line matchups will likely be Andrew Copp with a 54.6% FOW percentage and Joe Thornton who owns a 53.1% FOW percentage. Finally, David Gustafsson who’s recorded a 51.2% FOW percentage will probably be facing Dylan Gambrell and his 49.4% FOW percentage for the majority of the game.
3) Tough Night on the PowerPlay
Overall, the Jets haven’t sustained much success with their powerplay unit through 13 games this season. Coming into tonight’s game, the Jets’ 15.6% conversion rate with the man advantage sits ninth-worst in the league. The Jets will also be facing the best penalty-killing team in the league.
Entering tonight’s game, the Sharks have produced a league-leading 90.4% success rate on the penalty kill. The Sharks have also been a perfect 15-for-15 at home with their penalty-killing unit through 13 games this season. So, the Jets will need to be able to create offensive production during five-on-five to be successful against the Sharks.
Both teams will record 30-plus shots on net but this game will be decided by just a single goal. The Sharks will fail to score more than a pair of goals for the fourth straight game. A late second-period goal from the Jets’ top line will hold up through the third period, which will push the Jets to a 7-7 record for the season.