4-3 record on the trip. Sigh. A disappointment that it’s below 0.500.
But the guys got out of town Tuesday evening, a bit of a miracle given the snow fall around the region. They get Wednesday off and then face the Panthers, to hopefully take revenge for another loss on this trip.
Disallowed goals disappointed. End of a shutout streak. And continued concern with all the blueline. And lack of offense.
Have to think there will be changes of one kind or another soon. (And not “36 days until Christmas” soon either. Under/over before/after US Thanksgiving?)
Trip record: 3-3-0. How this trip will be viewed long term will depend on one or two points from this final game. Now, the fact that the Sharks have gotten 16 of their road games in their first 21 is a new NHL record, but without a win, the trip will not seem a great success.
There’s an old saying about “The Horse Sees the Barn”, where the horse is hard to contain as he runs back home. The team will have to have some restraint and control to focus on these last 60+ minutes in Buffalo (one of their worst locations) and get some revenge for the win the Sabres got last month in San Jose to be able to have a good showing.
Sharks had Monday off after their weekend back-to-backs. (And they’ll have Wednesday off on their return from the road before facing the Panthers on Thursday.) So energy depleted by travel should not be a factor.
Focus and play.
The weather in Buffalo is often a factor, but the Sharks are in town and the the officials may be as well, so regardless of the weather (and the ability of fans to attend the game), the game may be played (as rescheduling can be crazy).
Nieto missed Sunday’s game after a hard hit into the boards on Saturday. Unclear if he’ll be available to play. Stalock, Brown, Torres on IR.
Sabres had optional morning skate. Looks like Grosenick will start for Sharks.
Goalie Troy Grosenick made his NHL debut. Notched his first start, a win, and a shutout with 45 saves. With family in attendance. First Sharks goalie to ever have a shutout (start) in his debut. First Sharks goalie to have a shutout in his first start since Nabokov (but that was his third game).
The Sharks continue their epic seven-game road trip with a stop in Columbus, their only visit of the (regular) season. The teams’ only other meeting was in San Jose on October 23, when the Sharks had a very disappointing performance, losing 5-4.
The Sharks are coming off of an impressive win against the top team in the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Sharks landed in Columbus early Friday morning, while Columbus was in Philadelphia to face the Flyers on Friday night.
Columbus has been plagued with a long list of injuries, some of which might be career ending. Goalie Bobrovsky is off the IR, and was backing up on Friday night, and could start on Saturday. Friday was the Jackets’ first win in ten games, depending on their power play (3 goals), but they gave up two man advantage goals. However, they are still injury impaired with Tyutin injured in the game (lower body).
Jackets not only get BOB back, but also Anisimov; BOB starting. Sharks had optional skate, both Braun and Marleau did not skate, so who knows if there are any lines/pairings changes. Niemi starting.
Columbus traded for D Leopold from St Louis; he’s expected to be in the line up tonight. Columbus put Calvert and Tyutin on IR to accommodate roster updates.
First period saw an exchange of chances, but each goalie kept all the pucks out of their respective net.
In the Second period, Joe Thornton intercepted a pass and put it in the net behind Bishop. His 1,210th point, now tied for 42nd on all-time list with HHOFer Bobby Clarke. Tyler Kennedy took a perfect headman pass from Brent Burns and adds to the Sharks lead (1 second after a PP ended), his first goal of the season; Antti Niemi also got his first assist of the season on the play.
Lightning did get one back in the third, but the Sharks D and Niemi kept them from getting another.
Sharks are now 9-7-2 on the season; 2-2-0 on the road trip.