Captain Max Pacioretty: They’re always tough to play against because it’s a man’s game. San Jose has always played us strong. They’ve got a couple of big, physical defensemen. A guy like [Brent] Burns is very tough to play against, in my opinion. He’s big, strong and fast,”
Center Torrey Mitchell is expected to make his return to the ice tonight after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. Max Pacioretty had this to say about Mitchell’s play: “He’s a very versatile player for us. He’s really helped out our team a lot this year when he’s been in the lineup because you could put him out there in any situation. You’re not worried about who he’s playing against. He can eat up some minutes by going against their top guys,”
Torrey Mitchell on his possible return: “I was out a little bit longer than I expected. I thought that I’d be out for two weeks, but it took over three. It’s all behind me now, though. I’m not really worried about anything. I just followed the doctor’s orders and I took things one step at a time.”
Logan Couture will remain out of the lineup Tuesday night as he went under the knife to repair a bleeding artery in his left leg this past Thursday. While he has been limited to just 5 games this season after suffering a fractured fibula, the Sharks will surely miss his presence. He will remain out for at least the next five games for the Sharks leading up tot he Christmas break. Head Coach Peter DeBoer had this to say on the manner “When you take a 60-70 point guy out of anybody’s lineup, a No. 1 or No. 2 center, you have to make sure that foundation is in place, and you have to be prepared to win games 2-1.”.
The Sharks have been in a downward spiral of late, as they have now lost 6 in a row. The Canadiens broke out of their 4 game slump Saturday with a win over the Senators.
The Canadiens place fifth in the league in goals against, with 70 in their first 31 games. The Sharks’ defensive game has been hovering around average, as they have allowed 78 goals against in their first 29 games and are in 15th in the league.
The Canadiens remain in second place in the NHL in the goals for category, with 100 over their first 31 games. The Sharks’ offense has been under-performing by many people’s expectations, but they remain in a tie for 20th in the NHL with a total of 75 goals over their first 29 games this season.
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC. | December 15, 7:30 PM ET | TV: RDS, SNE, CSN-CA
Points (League rank)
*Advanced statistics: Score adjusted, even strength. CF%: Corsi for percentage of total CF60: Corsi For/60 minutes CA60: Corsi Against/60 minutes (via War on Ice)
Projected forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders
2015-’16 regular season: Record: 12-10-1 GAA: 2.29 Sv%: .918 SO: 3 Alternate: Alex Stalock
2015-’16 regular season: Record: 1-1-0 GAA: 2.61 Sv%: .912 SO: 0 Alternate: Mike Condon
Martin Jones has been impressive for the Sharks so far this season. Although his has slowed down from his torrid pace to start the season, the Sharks (and fantasy managers) have to be impressed with his play. As outlined in Fantasy Hockey Primer Part 2: Breakouts, written before the start of the regular season, Jones was a risky pick to entrust a starting goalie position to. While other goaltenders mentioned in the article, Petr Mrazek (still sharing starts) and Cam Talbot (lost the starting position all together), have yet to perform as admirably, Jones has held his own in the net for the Sharks. In said article, his predicted stats were 2.35 GAA, 0.917 SV%, 25-30 Wins and 4-5 SO, and as seen above his stats reflect this very closely (on pace for 9 SO and 38 Wins). It is never a good thing to face one of the NHL’s top offenses, but the Canadiens have been struggling of late and this is a opportunity for the Sharks to break out of their 6 game losing streak. There are obviously better goaltenders to start over Jones, but if you are stuck looking for starts or want to take a risk, Jones is your man.
It seems as if DustinTokarski has regained the reigns as the Canadiens’ starter while Carey Price is out with injury. Wednesday’s game will mark the third consecutive start for Tokarski. If you are looking for an injury replacement or a goalie who could help you in a weekly pool, Tokarski is worth the risk, solely due to the fact that he is playing behind a very good Canadiens team. Even if you are hesitant to start him, he is worthy of a bench position for a couple games to see how he performs. Remember how quickly everyone jumped to pickup Mike Condon earlier this season? I wouldn’t want to be caught sleeping on another potential fantasy stud if it was to happen again.
Top scorers for the Sharks on the road this season are:
Joe Pavelski (with 15 points in 16 games).
Patrick Marleau (with 14 points in 16 games)
Brent Burns (with 13 points in 16 games)
Top scorers for the Canadiens at home this season are:
Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty (14 points in 17 games)
David Desharnais, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher (with 11 points in 17, 17 and 12 games respectively)
Player stats retrieved from War on Ice, NHL.com profiles and Yahoo Sports