Every night we here at zelePUCKin will try to preview a game that strikes us a THE game to watch.
Our inaugural Game of the Night goes to....The San Jose Sharks visiting the St. Louis Blues @8 pm Eastern
St. Louis is only a point out of the Central Division lead and owe a great deal of their success to their new goalie Jaro Halak. The Blues are a team with a young core, who are finally hitting their stride together. Eric Johnson, David Perron, David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund and Alex Pietrangelo compose the core. The Blues are riding a four game win streak, and with their undefeated home record are strong favorites.
It isn't everyday the San Jose Sharks come into a game as underdogs. But this year things have changed. San Jose sits in the middle of the Pacific Division. They are suffering from a downgrade in net as regular season all star (and playoff disappointment) Evgeni Nabokov left this off-season for Russia. Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki are the goalies for the team this year and have let up 26 goals against in 10 games played. It is not the amount of the goals they have let up that is concerning but, rather, the types and times they are let in. San Jose has fallen victim to soft goals at back-breaking times. Expect Niittymaki between the pipes in this one. Although, I would love to see Niemi get the nod.
This game will be won by puck control. Each of these teams likes to control the puck, and by that way control the tempo of the game. Which ever team can dictate puck control and tempo will surely have the better of the game. It should be a fast paced game with both of these teams owning the ability to capitalize on the rush. One big key to this game is the SJ powerplay. With the talent up front and defenseman Brian Boyle quarterbacking, the Sharks can be lethal on the powerplay any given night.
My guess: St. Louis stays out of the box and controls the puck for the majority of the game en route to a 4-2 victory.
Star of the game: T.J. Oshie
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="462" caption="Bruce Bennett/Getty Images"][/caption]