Preview: Sharks Hope To Rebound Against Red Wings

The San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings will complete their season series tonight as the two teams face each other after very different results in their previous games. On Thursday night, the injury-ravaged Red Wings helped San Jose with a 4-0 clean sheet of the Los Angeles Kings on the back of Jared Coreau’s first NHL shutout.

The Sharks’ homestand continues after a 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Wild that featured a goal frenzy in the third period. The Sharks, without two regular defenders, struggled in front of Martin Jones, who gave up a handful of goals in a rare off night. One silver lining is the Sharks’ complementary scorers seem to have woken up of late. Joonas Donskoi, in particular, is starting to get going  and is back on his 2015-16 scoring pace, which should help San Jose.

Sharks Ahead of Last Season

Joonas Donskoi
(Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

The team has relied on improved defense and timely scoring to stay in the hunt for the Pacific Division lead. Compared to last season, the Shark are scoring at about the same rate (97 goals vs. 93 goals last year) but have gone from 106 goals allowed last year down to 87 this year. While secondary scoring remains a concern and focal point for improvement, the Sharks’ Big 4 of Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton continue to carry the bulk of the offense. Rookie Kevin Labanc is settling in nicely on the second line and already has 12 points since his call-up in November.

Jones is second in the NHL among goalies in minutes played with 1,998, which is behind only Edmonton Oilers starter Cam Talbot. Jones has given the Sharks an opportunity to win every night with a 2.19 goals-against average and his 19 wins are tied for third in the NHL.

Tim Heed was recalled by the Sharks after the San Jose Barracuda’s 3-1 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals, likely pointing to both David Schlemko and Marc-Edouard Vlasic remaining out with injuries.


Woes Plentiful for Detroit

Detroit’s injury list is extensive. Jimmy Howard’s bounce-back year has been beset by injuries, but when he’s played he has been excellent.

Jimmy Howard Red Wings
(Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE)

Howard is allowing less than two goals per game and a save percentage of .934, both easily the best among Detroit netminders. Petr Mrazek has struggled after last year’s stellar performance and opened the door for third-stringer Jared Coreau to steal starts in the past two weeks.

The Red Wings’ power play has been nearly powerless, ranking 30th in the NHL at an 11.3 efficiency rating, moving head coach Jeff Blashill to move gritty forward Steve Ott to the power-play unit in hopes of sparking something. Most of these issues have been tied to the extensive list of injuries the Red Wings are currently facing. Mike Green, Darren Helm, Niklas Kronwall and Johan Franzen are just a few of the Detroit players out of the lineup. First round selection Anthony Mantha is taking advantage of the opportunity and earning top-line minutes. His 18 points are tied for fourth on the team and his 10 goals rank second.


Detroit Red Wings at San Jose Sharks

SAP Center – 7:30 p.m. PST

Broadcast channels –CSN-CA, FS-D+

Radio: Sharks Radio Network

2016-17 Season Series: 

October 22, 2016 – Red Wings 3 Sharks 0

San Jose Sharks – 23-14-2 (48 Points)

Home Record: 13-5-1

Hot Players: Brent Burns

Key Injuries: Tomas Hertl, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, David Schlemko

Projected Lines:


Timo Meier – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski

Joonas Donskoi – Logan Couture – Kevin Labanc

Patrick Marleau – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward

Mikkel Boedker – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson


Paul Martin – Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon – Justin Braun

Mirco Mueller – Dylan DeMelo

Starting Goaltender:

Martin Jones (Expected Starter)

Martin Jones had a monstrous start (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Martin Jones had a monstrous start (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Detroit Red Wings – 17-17-5  (39 Points)

Road Record: 10-7-2

Hot Players: Jared Coreau

Key Injuries: Brenden Smith, Justin Abdelkader, Mike Green, Jimmy Howard, Darren Helm, Niklas Kronwall, Johan Franzen, Joe Vitale

Projected Lines:


Tomas Tatar – Henrick Zetterberg – Anthony Mantha

Gustav Nyqvist – Frans Nielsen – Thomas Vanek

Riley Sheahan – Dylan Larkin – Luke Glendening

Steve Ott – Andreas Athanasiou – Drew Miller


Dan DeKeyser – Nick Jensen

Jonathan Ericsson – Alexey Marchenko

Xavier Ouellet – Ryan Sproul

Starting Goaltender

Jared Coreau (Expected Starter)


Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Red Wings had a losing record in the months of November and December with matching 5-6-2 records and earned 12 points each month of the 2016-17 season.

Thomas Vanek
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]Brent Burns game notes update: Burns has 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in his last 14 games. The two-time NHL All-Star leads the Sharks with 15 goals and 37 points. He also continues to lead the NHL with 155 shots on goal.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]Waiving Long Beach, CA native Matt Nieto might have woken up some of the Sharks’ depth players. Joel Ward (goal and assist), Joonas Donskoi (goal) and Chris Tierney (assist) all found the scoresheet against the Wild.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Red Wings have the worst power-play conversion rate in the NHL. They have recently taken to drastic measures to try to get the man-advantage going for the struggling squad.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Sharks are 31-49-4-5 in franchise history against the Red Wings. Recent history has helped close that gap: San Jose is 13-5-1 versus Detroit in their last 19 meetings.