Today @ 4pm
Ah, "East Coast" Games. Being unemployed has few benefits, but being able to watch games at 4pm is one of them.
CSN-CA and Jamie & Dan on KFOX
Since firing Ken Hitchcock the Blue Jackets are 2 and 0. Since before that, they've won 4 of 5 at home. The Sharks, meanwhile, have eked out their wins in Nashville and Toronto, after a decently convincing win in St. Louis at the start their current road trip. As we saw against the Leafs, things get iffy when room temperature Sharks face a hot team.
The Leafs had a lot of sustained pressure in the Sharks zone all game, and it's only by the grace of the Hockey Gods that they managed to keep the lead and win the game. The pressure on Nabby those last few minutes was intense. You could smell the scent of impending overtime on the wind. The Sharks came out flatter than yesterday's soda in the 1st. Even the players said it was an unacceptable way to start the game, which, while it doesn't change the start, at least shows that the team knows they should be playing better than they were. No way this year's Sharks should be letting the Leafs walk all over them. As I said last preview, that game had potential upset written all over it. It's a safe bet to assume this one does too.
Add to that the fact that the Sharks play in Detroit tomorrow and you can see how the pressure to win Thursday might leak into today's game and distract the guys from their main goal, winning today. I'm hoping to see the Sharks come out stronger and faster than they did against Toronto and hopefully sustain that tempo throughout the rest of the game. I'll be really happy if they an keep the puck out of their zone for more than 30 seconds. Or clear the puck regularly. Something. That whole puck spending way too much time in our zone thing is getting ridiculous.