Preview: Sharks Continue Road Trip Against Canadiens

The San Jose Sharks road trip through eastern Canada reaches as far east as it will take them tonight when they face the Montreal Canadiens. The match-up features two division leaders: The Habs are atop the Atlantic Division and San Jose is setting the pace in the Pacific. The two teams last met on December 2 when Martin Jones outdueled Carey Price en route to a 2-1 San Jose victory. The San Jose netminder got within 80 seconds of a shutout before rookie Artturi Lehkonen spoiled the clean sheet.

Logan Couture Sharks
(Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE)

There is good news for San Jose: Logan Couture is expected to play despite a vicious cross-check to the back of the head two nights ago in Ottawa againt the Senators. Mike Hoffman, the perpetrator of the hit, will have his disciplinary phone hearing this Friday. Marc-Edouard Vlasic is also expected to be in the line-up, averting a suspension for his pitchfork of Erik Karlsson.

But the good news does not stop there for the Sharks. For the first time, the ninth overall selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Timo Meier, will be on the San Jose Sharks’ line-up card. He’ll skate on the third line with Chris Tierney and Joonas Donskoi, at least to start the game; Head coach Peter DeBoer has used a blender on his bottom-two lines for most of the season.

For the Canadiens, dominating play with Carey Price in net has become commonplace. But signing free-agent Alexander Radulov has been on of the best moves the NHL saw this summer. With Montreal’s top center Alex Galchenyuk out, more pressure now falls to the talented Russian and the U.S.-born captain Max Pacioretty to keep the offense chugging along.

Tomas Plekanec will center the top line, but points have been tough to come by for the 34-year-old center. Plekanec had four assists in the 10-1 rout of the Colorado Avalanche but has only nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the other 28 games he’s played. With Galchenyk out, he’ll have to step up his game beyond what he’s shown thus far.

San Jose Sharks at Montreal Canadiens

Bell Centre – 7:30 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – CSN California, Sportsnet, RDS

Radio: Sharks Radio Network, TSN 1200

2016-17 Season Series: 1-0-0

December 2, 2016 – Montreal Canadiens 1  San Jose Sharks 2

San Jose Sharks – 18-11-1 – 37 Points

Road Record: 8-7-1

Hot Players: Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski

Key Injuries: Tomas Hertl

Projected Lines:


Patrick Marleau – Joe Thronton – Joe Pavelski

Mikkel Boedker – Logan Couture – Kevin Labanc

Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi

Micheal Haley – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson


Paul Martin – Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Brain

Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Starting Goaltender:

Martin Jones (Confirmed)

Montreal Canadiens – 19-6-4 – 42 Points

Home Record: 14-1-2

Hot Players: Paul Byron, Torrey Mitchell, Carey Price

Key Injuries: David Desharnais, Alex Galchenyuk, Greg Pateryn, Charles Hudon

Projected Lines:


Max Pacioretty – Tomas Plekanec – Alexander Radulov

Artturi Lehkonen – Phillip Danault – Andrew Shaw

Paul Byron – Torrey Mitchell – Brendan Gallagher

Daniel Carr – Brian Flynn – Michael McCarron


Alexei Emelin – Shea Weber

Andrei Markov – Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu – Zach Redmond

Starting Goaltender:

Carey Price (Confirmed)

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]No player is hotter for the Sharks than Brent Burns. The big defenseman is leading the team in points (28), goals (13), and the entire NHL in shots on goal (131) in 30 games played. Burns also has seven points in his last six games.

Brent Burns (Zeke/THW)
Brent Burns (Zeke/THW)

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]Carey Price is once again in fine form. The former Tri-City Americans star sports a .940 save percentage to go with a 1.80 goals against average in 21 games played. He also has a pair of shutouts to his credit in what is turning into another Vezina Trophy-worthy campaign for the 29-year-old goalie.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]Timo Meier will make his San Jose Sharks debut. In his first professional season, Meier has nine goals and six assists in 17 games. He is the leading goal scorer for the Barracuda and second on the team in penalty minutes.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Sharks will have their work cut out for them as they travel to the Bell Centre. San Jose is 4-11-2-0 all-time when they travel to Montreal.


[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap]Former San Jose Sharks center Torrey Mitchell is Montreal’s third-line pivot and comes into the contest with two goals and two assists in his last three games.