San Jose Sharks Set to Drop Puck Against Kings


The 2015-2016 NHL season is finally upon us after a long offseason for both the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings as both clubs missed the playoffs last season.

The Sharks missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2002-2003 season and the Los Angeles Kings missed the playoffs after qualifying in each of the past five seasons. Although the Sharks have been more successful in making the postseason over the past decade, the Kings’ two Stanley Cup trophies reign high in the Northern California v. Southern California rivalry.

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San Jose Sharks return to the tank to face the Winnipeg Jets
San Jose Sharks return to the tank to face the Winnipeg Jets /

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  • San Jose will be led by new head coach Peter DeBoer this year after letting go of Todd McClellan, who will be coaching the Edmonton Oilers. DeBoer wanted to change the lack of captaincy on the Sharks roster before the beginning of the season.

    DeBoer recently appointed 10-year veteran Joe Pavelski as the captain for the upcoming season. Pavelski will lead a young core of talent this year with nearly half of the opening night roster younger than 26 years old. Pavelski is coming off of a 37-goal season, in which he netted 19 power play goals to help the San Jose Sharks finish as the second best power play team in the Western Conference last year (21.7 percent).

    San Jose also let Antti Niemi go in the offseason, who now finds himself in a timeshare between the pipes in Dallas with Kari Lehtonen. The Sharks look to have found their goalie of the future in Martin Jones, whom they acquired from the Boston Bruins in the offseason.

    There is a lot of hope in the Martin Jones department following a 3-1-0 record in four preseason starts. Jones posted a 0.76 goals against average and a .970 save percentage in the preseason. His goals against average mark was the lowest amongst NHL goaltenders with at least four preseason starts.

    San Jose also signed right winger Joel Ward in the offseason. Ward has played in 517 NHL games for the Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, and, most recently, the Washington Capitals. Ward has had the best seasons of his career in the past two years with 24 goals and 25 assists in the 2013-2014 season and 19 goals and 15 assists in the 2014-2015 season. He also as scored 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) in 53 career playoff games. His postseason experience could become very valuable if the team is to make the postseason this year with so many young faces in the locker room.

    The Los Angeles Kings brought in a former San Jose Shark in Christian Ehrhoff this offseason to join their defensive unit. Milan Lucic also joins the Kings this season after being traded from the Boston Bruins for Martin Jones, Colin Miller, and the 13th overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

    Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has gone 7-2-0 with a 1.74 goals against average in his last nine starts against the Shark, including the 2012-2013 playoff series.

    Here is where you can watch tonight’s contest between the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks…

    Where to Watch:

    Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015

    Time: 7:30 p.m. PST

    Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

    TV: NBCS

    Next: NHL 16 Simulation: Sharks to Finish 4th in Pacific