The San Jose Sharks have won four straight and eight of
their last nine, which includes a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks this past
Saturday night. The two teams will meet up on Wednesday night with a change in
Both teams can win this game for varying reasons but
either way don’t expect many goals in this matchup.
The San Jose
Sharks Can Win Because…:
They have been outstanding following a six-game losing
streak in January. It flies under the radar but the Sharks are 26-4-4 in their
last 34 games, which makes them the most consistent and hot team over the
second half of the season.
The San Jose Sharks are 8-0-1 in their last nine games and have
outscored opponents 43-19 in that span. They might have been completely
overlooked in the first half of the season but this now looks like a team that
is en route to a deep postseason run.
Goaltender Anti Niemi has made 34 straight starts and why
not. He has a 1.99 GAA in his last nine starts with a shutout to boot. He has a
GAA of 2.01 against the Ducks this season.
It’s too easy to say that the Sharks are happy with
winning the Pacific Division. Yes, that’s a good accomplishment but they still
have to keep winning to lock down the No. 2 seed in the conference. Also, given
the two teams standings, this could very well be a first-round playoff meeting
and the Sharks don’t want to provide the Ducks any hope.
A lot of things are clicking for the Sharks right now,
such as their offense. Center Patrick Marleau has been leading the way with 15
goals and 12 assists in his last 18 games. Also, Joe Pavelski has 20 points in
his last 10 games.
Everything is going right for the Sharks right now and
they are not a team to bet against.
The Anaheim Ducks
Can Win Because…:
They need this game more.
It’s a cliché, but it is true. While the Sharks are in a
cozy position in second in the Western Conference, the Ducks still have yet to
clinch a playoff berth. They are merely two points ahead of the Dallas Stars
and a loss could be detrimental to their playoff health.
The good news is that they will be at home for this matchup,
where they are 24-13-2 this season. They have won seven of their last 10 at the
Even with back-to-back losses, goaltender Ray Emery is
still 6-2-0 as a member of the Ducks. He has posted a GAA of 2.30 in that span
and has provided the reliable goaltending that the Ducks were sorely lacking
after All-Star Jonas Hiller went down to injury.
The Anaheim Ducks are 11-6 this season when playing with two days
rest and 19-11 after allowing four goals or more in their previous game. With
the urgency on their side, they should be in good position to get a win.
Outlook & NHL
It’s worth noting that seven of the last nine meetings in
Anaheim and 12 of the last 18 meetings overall between the teams have played
under and both teams have excellent goaltenders, which could lead to another
The side play is a coin toss as the Sharks are playing
well while the Anaheim Ducks could really use this win. The better choice is to stick
with the under and expect a game with few goals.