Game 76 Preview: San Jose @ St. Louis

The Sharks will play in Chicago tonight. Tomorrow, they’ll be hosted by the Blues.

Having said that, this evaluation was made on Monday morning. This is one of those games I could flip a coin on. Both teams are hot right now and there’s no telling which way this one may go. The Sharks, however, have beat the Blues in both games they’ve played them in this year, outscoring St. Louis 5-2 in those meetings. This will be the last time the teams meet for the season. The Blues need to grab one of the three as points are crucial to continue this playoff push.

I’ve gathered some information for you to take a look at before the game. The Sharks are a solid team and the Blues have some work cut out for themselves in this one. Here is a comparison of the two clubs right now. A lot of this is subject to change as San Jose will play Chicago tonight. The Blues are playing well right now, but so are the Sharks who sit 2nd in the Pacific with a 6 point lead over the Ducks and Kings.

The Blues sit in the 2nd Wild Card spot, but Los Angeles also has 89 points. They’ve played 76 games though to St. Louis’ 75. Colorado is just 1 point ahead of the Blues holding that 1st Wild Card position. If the Avalanche lose to Vegas tonight, the Blues can potentially move up the ladder with a win tomorrow.



St. Louis (42-28-5)

Home Record (23-15-0)

  • 89 Points (75 games played)
  • 5 game winning streak (won 7 of last 10)
  • +13 goal differential
  • PP% 15.4 (29th)
  • PK% 80.7 (15th)

You read that right. 29th in the league on the power play. This isn’t news if you’re a Blues fan. Everybody knows that it’s not the Blues’ strong suit. In this game, St. Louis is going to want to stay out of the box and keep it 5 on 5. You’ll see San Jose’s power play percentage later in this article. It’s really important to take special teams away from the Sharks.

Blues Leading Goal Scorers

Tarasenko has scored in each of his last 2 games. Alexander Steen has 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 4 contests. One guy not on this list that’s been stepping it up is Patrik Berglund who has 3 goals and 1 assist in his last 4 games. Also, Jaden Schwartz holds onto 2 goals and 4 assists in his last 5. The Captain, Alex Pietrangelo has been exceptional. He had himself a 3 point game against the Rangers. He followed it with a 4 point game against the Blackhawks. Petro since has one assist in his last 3. Brayden Schenn has registered 1 goal and 4 assists in his last 5 showings.

Goaltending

I think we all should expect Jake Allen to get the start against San Jose considering his incredible performance in Columbus on Saturday night. Ville Husso is back in San Antonio so Carter Hutton is ready to get back into the mix of things. I’m really happy with Jake Allen’s play right now and hope he continues to bring it. I’m also hopeful that Carter Hutton would be able to take over if Jake fails.

San Jose (43-23-9)

Away Record (19-12-6)

  • 95 points (75 games played)
  • 7 game winning streak (won 8 of last 10)
  • +29 goal differential
  • PP% 20.9 (12th)
  • PK% 84.7 (1st)

The Sharks are a little bit better on paper, but the Blues seem to be putting it all on the line right now. It should be quite a battle. I think one of the keys to the game is establishing an early lead if you’re St. Louis. Get off to a good start, and fast. They’ve got to have something to show for the first 20 minutes of play. I think it’s important for this team to strike first tomorrow. Also, as I mentioned before, stay out of the box. Play them 5 on 5. That’s how the Blues win games. Of course, I’d take a power play goal here and there if I could get one.


Sharks Leading Goal Scorers

Let’s not count out Evander Kane. Remember him? He has registered 27 goals and 25 assists this year. He has 7 goals and 5 assists for San Jose since being traded by Buffalo at the deadline. Saturday night, Kane scored 2 goals against Calgary. 4 games before that, He scored 4 goals (also on the Flames). It’s safe to say he has their number. Well, the Blues will have Evander’s number circled on their board for sure.

Goaltending

I think that Aaron Dell will probably start in Chicago tonight and Martin Jones against St. Louis tomorrow. But, I could be wrong. We’ll see what happens. Regardless of who is in net, it should be a big test for the St. Louis Blues. As it has been, the time to win is now if the Blues want to make sure they get into the playoffs.

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