While San Jose made the Stanley Cup finals last year, they did so on a hot playoff run after finishing 3rd in the Pacific. Their power play unit is something to be feared, capitalizing on just over 20% of their opportunities last year. Their goal tending is reliable with Jones in the back and Joe Thornton apparently has found the lazarus pool and still looks just as much a force on the ice at 37 as he ever has. I think it was LeBrun that stated he projected Thornton to get another three year deal. He is the Randy Couture of hockey.
The Jackets best opportunity tonight lies in our power play as this was a glaring weakness in the Sharks game play. The scored on just over 20% of their PP opportunities and gave up just over 20% on the PK. If we stay out of the box, our chances go up exponentially.
With Ryan Murray out after blocking a shot against Boston, Dalton Prout draws in on the 3rd pairing with Nutivaara. To say this makes me nervous is an understatement. Nutivaara looked every bit like a rookie against Boston and Prout has had games in the past where he became a turnover machine in our own zone. We need this line to punch above their weight class tonight.
Let’s Go Jackets. Get on the win train tonight!