The Sharks end their season opening 4 game road trip in Chicago tonight. San Jose is coming off an embarrassing loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. With a win tonight the Sharks can come home 2-1-1 and earning a point in 3 of the 4 road games. Not bad considering the team has looked like they have been going in and out of cruise control in all 3 games leading up to tonight. Two first period goals does not mean you can cruise through the rest of the game. Somehow this team needs to find a way to play good hockey for a full 60 minutes, or the playoffs may not be as certain a lock as some may think. Now obviously it is way to early to start complaing about these kind of things. However the fans notice things. Especially when the team they love comes out and has the same issues in the first few games that cost them an early exit from the playoffs just a few months ago. Many players are still getting their legs back and some still getting used to playing with new linemates. Of course the fans will say, "that is what training camp and preseason are for", and yes it is, however it takes time for linemates to adjust to eachother. In other words preseason is a chance to see who plays well with who, not to determine the exact lines for the season. We know as Sharks fans Ron will switch up line combinations often, so be prepared for many different looks in the first month of the season.
San Jose should be able to win tonight simply with their size alone. Ron Wilson has moved Clowe to the top line with Thornton and Cheechoo. Marleau will center Michalek and Bernier. Pavelski will center the 3rd with his linemates yet to be determined.
My keys to the game.........
1.) Play for the full 60 minutes. No slouching !
2.) Use the size advantage. Compared to San Jose, Chicago is small. Play bigger, faster, and stronger.
3.) No razzle dazzle ! Pretty no look, behind the back passes are pretty but not when they end up on the opposing teams stick. Make the defense have to play honest, simple clean passes will create plenty of scoring chances against this defense.
Also I would like to wish Jonathan Toews good luck in his first NHL game.
Have a good day and GO SHARKS !
* Thanks to those who responded with their memories from the tank. I will be working on getting that blog up in the next couple of weeks, so be sure to look for it !
* If you have not yet read B.D. Gallofs blog from today, you should it is a masterpiece ! It is a must read. You can find it here....