Sharks Seek Season Sweep Of Avalanche: Game Preview


January 26, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks left winger Patrick Marleau (12) collides with Colorado Avalanche defense Ryan Wilson (44) during the second period at HP Pavilion. San Jose won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks (11-7-5) leave town after their disappointing overtime loss to the Blues and head to Colorado to face the Avalanche (9-10-4) at the Pepsi Center.

This is the third and final meeting of the season between the two teams with San Jose winning the first two, although in their last matchup the game went all they way to a shootout before the Sharks could take the victory.  Colorado will be looking to avoid being swept in the season series.

Both teams have faired similarly in their five games since the last meetup with the Sharks going 2-1-2 while the Avalanche are 2-2-1.

Leading the way for Colorado is forward Matt Duchene who has nine goals and a team 15 assists so far this season.  He also leads the team with 24 total points.  Second on the team in that category is winger P.A. Parenteau with 23 points.  He leads the team with 10 goals and is second only to Duchene with 13 assists.

For the Sharks both Martin Havlat and Joe Thornton have scored points in each of the two games against the Avalanche.   This would have been a great game for Havlat to perhaps get out of his offensively slump, but instead he has was put on injured reserve yesterday.  Because of this, Tommy Wingels was reactivated.

Thornton, who has scored one goal and two assists in the two games, will have to pick up the slack.

Ryane Clowe, who has been the subject of scrutiny all season because of his lack of production, scored his first point in his last nine games yesterday against he Blues. It was nice to see from a guy who has slowly been improving this season, but ZERO goals and seven assists is not the kind of production you want to see from a second line winger. Hopefully that assist will give him a jump start.

Also, a good sign for the offense (of which there have not been many this season) is the hopeful emergence of Scott Gomez.  He has now scored two goals and added an assist in his last three games.  The website Did Gomez Score? has been busy as of late! Let’s hope that keeps up.

What To Wach For

Colorado is coming off of the biggest win this season in the NHL, not because of what they did, but who it was against.  They finally ended Chicago’s streak of games where they have earned a point to start the season at 24 games.  And they did not just end it by a slim margin, they did it outright winning in a convincing 6-2 fashion.  You have to think the win will give them a major boost and will have some extra jump in their step against the Sharks because of it, especially at home.  If San Jose can weather the early avalanche of attacks from Colorado and come out of it alright, then they will have a great chance to win this one.