Preview: San Jose Sharks Take on Maple Leafs

The San Jose Sharks start a four-game road trip to the center of the hockey universe as they make their only appearance of the 2016-17 season in Toronto. The Sharks were able to hold on to a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes last Saturday before heading out to eastern Canada to face the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Sharks could be without the services of two of their top-six defenders. David Schlemko has been out the last three games with versatile blueliner Dylan DeMelo taking his place in the bottom defensive pairing. All-star two-way defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic could be out as well. Vlasic, 29, skated in only seven minutes of action against the Hurricanes and might need more time off. The Sharks called up young Mirco Mueller from the San Jose Barracuda in case another rearguard is required to suit up against the young Maple Leafs.

The Maple Leafs were 0-1-1 against the Sharks last season and in the current campaign have a losing record against the Western Conference, going 4-5-3. Toronto’s last win at home over the Sharks came in a 4-3 victory nearly 15 years ago, on Jan. 29, 2002.

San Jose Sharks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Air Canada Centre – 7:30 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – CSN Bay Area

Radio: Sharks Radio Network

2016-17 Season Series: First meeting of the season

San Jose Sharks – 16-11-1 (33 Points)

Road Record: 6-7-1

Hot Players: Brent Burns, Kevin Labanc

Key Injuries: Tomas Hertl, David Schlemko

Projected lines:


Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski

Joel Ward – Logan Couture – Kevin Labanc

Mikkel Boedker – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi

Micheal Haley – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson


Paul Martin – Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Brain

Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo

Starting Goaltender

Martin Jones (likely)


Toronto Maple Leafs – 11-11-5 (27 points)

Home Record: 8-5-0

Hot Players: Frederik Andersen 

Key Injuries: Joffrey Lupul, Stephane Robidas, Martin Marincin

Projected Lines:


Leo Komarov – Nazem Kadri – William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Mitchell Marner

Zach Hyman – Auston Matthews – Connor Brown

Matt Martin – Ben Smith – Nikita Soshnikov


Morgan Rielly – Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner – Connor Carrick 

Matt Hunwick – Roman Polak 

Starting Goaltender

Frederik Andersen (Likely)

Toronto Maple Leafs, Frederik Andersen, NHL
(Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]Kevin Labanc has goals in consecutive games for the first time in his NHL career. He has appeared in 15 games for the Sharks and scored four goals to go along with two assists.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Sharks will face Roman Polak for the first time since he returned to the Maple Leafs. Polak appeared in 48 regular season and postseason games for San Jose last season, registering three assists and 31 penalty minutes.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]Brent Burns is in the midst of a four-game point scoring streak. The All-Star defender has three goals and an assist in his last four games. Burns is also tied for the Sharks’ scoring lead with Joe Pavelski. Both players have 25 points.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]This is the centennial year for the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. The Maple Leafs have a record of 2,804-2,720-783-133 in 6,440 regular season games over the last 100 years.