The Kings (7-6-2; 16 points) host the Avalanche (7-7-1; 15 points) today at 1. Capturing two wins in their back-to-back games in Canada the Kings return to the Staples Center where they will play 13 of their next 16 games. A slow start to the season landed the Kings in the basement of the Pacific division one point behind Dallas. Despite their positioning Los Angeles has played more consistently and is poised to make a run. The Avalanche beat the Predators and Blues in their last two games and have Gabriel Landeskog returning. Landeskog scored the game-winning goal in the third period when the Kings lost to the Avalanche, 3-1 in Colorado.
The Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks last faced off in San Jose in early December, a tight 3-2 OT win. Before that was the 0-1 loss in San Jose the night before Thanksgiving, a game which saw Chicago battling back after suffering a crushing - and humiliating - 9-2 loss to Edmonton a few nights before.
Since that time, Chicago has played well enough to land themselves in constant competition for the number one position in the West. Likewise, the Sharks have finally found some smoother sailing after rough patches to start the season, and have now clawed their way to the top of the struggling Pacific division. Of course, they still have ex-Blackhawk (and Cup-winning) Antti Niemi sig...
The Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks battled it out for a 0-1 game in California at Thanksgiving. Since that game, the Sharks had gone 2-5-0, including being shut out twice on the road (Kings; Blues). In the same stretch, Chicago went 5-1-1.
San Jose came into Sunday night's game as the 3rd game in 4 days, on the heels of Saturday’s 0-1 loss in St. Louis, while Chicago had only played twice in the past six days, with their last game being Thursday night on Long Island.
Given these circumstances, one might guess that Chicago would have looked like the more dominant team, not just to open the game but throughout the 60 minutes.
In the first part of this blog series I profiled the Sharks' top six forwards. Optimistically, those six players should all have very good seasons and San Jose will once again have one of the best top six in the league. This time I will be profiling the less-spectacular bottom six.
Line Three: McGinn-Handzus-Mitchell
Last season, one of the Sharks' biggest strengths was their ability to run three potent scor...