The San Jose Sharks face the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time in the 2016-17 season as the two teams trend in different directions. The Sharks hope to build on a lucky two points gained against the Ducks and are 4-1 in their last five games. The Flyers are trying to get back on track after a 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues and earning only three points in their last handful of games. Both teams hope that a lineup shuffle will give them a better chance at victory tonight at SAP Center.
The Flyers are trying to get back on track after a 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues and earning only three points in their last handful of games. Both teams hope that a lineup shuffle will give them a better chance at victory tonight at SAP Center.
Line-up Changes For Both Teams
The San Jose Sharks’ recent lineup shuffling has ruffled the feathers of the fan base who have quickly come to appreciate David Schlemko.
The steady play of Dylan DeMelo has left little room for Schlemko to re-enter the lineup over the last three contests. However, he will draw back into the lineup against the Flyers.
Head Coach Peter DeBoer said the layoff was not so much about Schlemko, but the impressive play of Dylan DeMelo over the same run.
“It wasn’t anything he did. We put DeMelo in, and he was excellent. It was more what DeMelo did than what Schlemko didn’t do,” said DeBoer. “We were winning, that’s just how it works. You get out of the lineup for a night, and someone comes in and does the job, you got to wait until another opportunity arises. We felt it was important to get him back in tonight. I thought our whole game last game was a little bit off. We made some changes, and we’ll see how that works tonight.”
Aaron Dell will get the start in net for San Jose. Dell will be facing the coach that recruited him to the University of North Dakota, Dave Hakstol, now the bench boss for the Flyers.
“Back to backs, he’s played well. He deserves to play,” said DeBoer of Dell getting his first start since December 10. “He’s part of the team. It’s one of those games we identified as an opportunity to play him.”
Aaron Dell starts tonight. Schlemko back in the lineup. DeMelo sits. #sjsharks
— Zachary DeVine (@zakkthebear) December 30, 2016
Recent Games and Trends
The Sharks are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory two nights ago at the Honda Center against the Anaheim Ducks. San Jose was outplayed as they shook off the holiday cobwebs before Brent Burns took over and got the team the extra point against their Southern California Rivals. San Jose has won their last three contests, and have eight three-game winning streaks already this season.
The Flyers have struggled since their 10-game winning streak that stretched from November 27 through December 14. In their last five games, Philadelphia is 1-3-1 with their only win coming in a shootout victory over the Washington Capitals. In a surprise move, Travis Konecny will sit tonight for the Flyers and Micheal Raffl will draw back into the lineup.
“He’s been a good worker,” Haksol said of the talented winger, Konecny. “He continues to be very confident and doing a lot of good things for us. I just think this is a good night for him to take a step back and be able to watch the game from up top. And it’s the same for [Lyubimov]. He always gets left out in the cold here in terms of his development as well, the focus on it. But I think it’s good for those two guys today to watching the game from up top. We’re going into a part of the season where things get tougher and tougher.”
And the first part of that is a matchup with the San Jose Sharks.
Philadelphia Flyers at San Jose Sharks
SAP Center – 7:00 p.m. PST
Broadcast channels – CSN-CA, CSN-PH
Radio: Sharks Radio Network
2016-17 Season Series:
First Game of the Season
San Jose Sharks – 22-12-1 (45 Points)
Home Record: 12-4-0
Hot Players: Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Brent Burns
Key Injuries: Tomas Hertl
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Mikkel Boedker – Logan Couture – Kevin Labanc
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi
Micheal Haley – Melker Karlsson – Joel Ward
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko
Philadelphia Flyers – 20-13-4 (44 Points)
Road Record: 8-8-1
Hot Players: (none)
Key Injuries: Michal Neuvirth, Matt Read, Radko Gudas, Mark Streit
Michael Raffl — Claude Giroux — Jakub Voracek
Brayden Schenn — Sean Couturier— Wayne Simmonds
Chris VandeVelde — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Boyd Gordon
Taylor Leier — Nick Cousins — Dale Weise
Ivan Provorov — Andrew MacDonald
Brandon Manning — Shayne Gostisbehere
Michael Del Zotto — Nick Schultz
1)Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds both have 15 power play points so far this season for the Flyers. Brayden Schenn is just behind with 14.
2)Brent Burns always seems to be in the game notes, but he is doing amazing things. He potted the overtime winner in the last game against the Ducks, leads the Sharks with 14 goals and continues to lead the NHL with 144 shots on goal.
3)The Flyers have one of the better power plays in the NHL. Philadelphia has potted 29 goals in 131 man-advantage attempts. Their 22.1% efficiency is good for seventh in the NHL, but they have also allowed seven short-handed goals, a league worst.
4)The Sharks’ ‘Big Four’ all are on assist streaks. Logan Couture and Burns have three assists in their last two contests. Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton each have four helpers in their previous three games.
5)The Sharks are 19-14-4-0 all-time vs. Philadelphia and are 16-1-2-0 against the Flyers since 2002.