Preview/Game thread Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks

  

San Jose (4–10–1) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (4–6–3)

9:00 p.m. CST
SAP Center
TV/Radio: NBCSN/WGN

Probable starters
Chicago — Robin Lehner (2–2–2, .938 save percentage, 2.26 goals-against average)
San Jose Martin Jones (2-7-1, .887 save percentage, 3.52 goals-against average)

Team statistics

Power play
Chicago (12.8%, 28th)
San Jose (22.0%, 13th)

Penalty kill
Chicago (79.1%, 21st)
San Jose (89.6%, First)

Shots for/against
Chicago
-30.8, 19th
-35.9, 30th

San Jose
-32.7, 17th
-32.7, 22nd

Shooting percentage
Chicago (7.8%)
San Jose  (8.3%)

Face-off percentage
Chicago (48.7%, 22nd)
San Jose (51.5%, seventh)

Average height and weight
Chicago — 6-foot-1, 196 pounds
San Jose — 6-foot-1, 203 pounds

Projected lines and pairings

Chicago Blackhawks

Brandon Saad — Jonathan Toews — Alexander Nylander
Alex DeBrincat — Dylan Strome — Patrick Kane
Dominik Kubalik — David Kampf — Kirby Dach
Drake Caggiula — Ryan Carpenter — Andrew Shaw

Duncan Keith — Adam Boqvist
Calvin de Haan — Brent Seabrook
Olli Maatta — Erik Gustafsson

San Jose Sharks

Evander KaneLogan CoutureKevin Labanc
Timo MeierTomas Hertl —  Barclay Goodrow
Marcus SorensenJoe ThorntonPatrick Marleau
Lean BergmannNoah GregorLukas Radil

Marc-Edouard VlasicBrent Burns
Brenden DillonErik Karlsson
Radim SimekMario Ferraro

Analysis

The Blackhawks are riding high after their victory over the Anaheim Ducks, which appears to be the first victory in the new youth movement era.  In their victory, Jonathan Toews hooked up with Patrick Kane on the overtime winner. The team also saw the first NHL goal for young phenom Adam Boqvist, giving the rookie his first professional goal and his first NHL goal within mere days. it is pretty clear why fans expect big things from the young future star.

The bigger star from the Blackhawks last game was goalie Robin Lehner. Lehner put up another impressive outing in Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. Despite facing the most shots in the NHL, on average, Lehner continues to boast the leagues third best save percentage. He attributed that to playing behind a young porous defense during his time in Buffalo in the post game scrum. He will have to continue to play at high level against their opponent tonight, the San Jose Sharks.

The San Jose Sharks are coming off a a 5-2 loss against the upstart Vancouver Canucks, and are struggling much like the Blackhawks. Age, inconsistency, and poor goaltending appear to be the biggest issues plaguing the Sharks. The average age of the Sharks is 29.2 years, which is a full two years older than  NHL average. In addition to being long in the tooth, the goalie tandem of Martin Jones and Aaron Dell rank in the bottom 15 of NHL goaltenders this season.

While the Sharks have some glaring weaknesses, they also have some positives. Brent Burns ranks in the top 30 offensive players with 14 total points, and Evander Kane is 14th in the NHL with eight goals. This is the second meeting this season between the Blackhawks and the Sharks.  The first meeting ended in a 5—4 overtime win for the Sharks, at the United Center, which means that the Blackhawks are looking to avenge earlier loss while the Sharks are to get back on a winning track.

Comment below in our live game thread tonight!

And, be sure to look for the internet’s most robust recap of the game by Juliana Nikac right here on The-Rink.com.

Center Ice Forums Preview/Game thread Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks

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