Who: Toronto Maple Leafs (35-23-8) @ San Jose Sharks (41-17-7)
Where: HP Pavilion (aka The Shark Tank), San Jose California
When: 10:30 PM EST (ugh…)
Where to Watch: Sportsnet Ontario, CSN – CA (USA)
Where to Listen: SN 590 The Fan, KFOX (USA)
Sharks Blog: Blades Of Teal
After yesterday’s late night win over the Anaheim Ducks the Leafs continue their three-in-four stretch against the Californian powerhouses. This stretch is one where the Leafs can truly solidify their playoff spot against tough West Coast opponents while the Pacific Division teams try to get a leg up on each other against a team they all feel they should be able to beat.
Lead by the always intense “Jumbo” Joe Thornton, the Sharks won’t give the Leafs room to breathe early on, and the game should be hard fought and physical. Both of these teams are structured somewhat similarly, with the top-six forwards capable of scoring plenty of goals but question marks and conversation surrounding the team the deeper you go into the lineup.
For the Leafs to succeed they need to abuse San Jose with their speed both up front and from the blueline and get the d-men involved in the low cycle as they did against the Ducks. Every day it seems Nikolai Kulemin gets faster, more physical and more talented since the Olympic break so look for him to get a decent chance or two in tonight’s action.