San Jose vs Toronto by Sweem
The classic Toronto Maple Leafs are making the trip to the well known Shark Tank in California, to battle the San Jose Sharks. The San Jose Sharks have recently had a long road trip on the East coast with five games in six days, winning three and losing two - which is a solid wave of results to bring back home. In a tough competition like the NHL, they are still only on the 13th place out of 15 in the Western Conference. Only Edmonton and Arizona have been worse so far.
With several players lacking to perform to their usual standars such as Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and the pair of goalies, it has been difficult to remain consistent for the San Jose Sharks. So far, only Logan Couture have looked excellent with his 8 goals and 3 assists, and with those metrics he is the best performer in the team.
Coach De Boer is under pressure and should he not have a successful road towards the playoffs this season, things can change on the Sharks bench pretty quickly. They have a reputation of being heavy to play against, but we are yet to see that this season.
Martin Jones (saves 92.8%) should be back between the pipes as he was rested in the previous match. He is currently the number one goaltender for the hosts here.
There are more positive vibes around Toronto Maple Leafs as they rank 1st in goals scored together with Tampa Bay, and have truly had a huge offensive spark since the very beginning with Auston Matthews often leading the way forward. There is a lot of young talent in the team and for the first time in several years, they look like a possible contender.
They did get in some leadership in the team when Patric Marleau arrived from the San Jose Sharks, and he has clinched 4 goals so far. Frederik Andersen (saves 89%) is the potential starter for the Maple Leafs. He has not been up to his best yet, so it can only get better from here.
In the NHL, which might be the toughest league to predict in the world of sports, it is extra important to be aware of every little factor that can matter and thus, pick the right spots. That being said, it is an unwritten fact that teams who return home from a long road trip tend to underperform when coming back to play their first home game.
This is now the case for San Jose Sharks, which in essence means that there is a ton of value on Toronto Maple Leafs in this particular match up. The Leafs are coming from two straight losses, but have been scoring goals for fun despite being involved in some thrilling hockey games. However, against a heavy Sharks side who are not up to full confidence and have had a hectic schedule with long travel involved, the young speedy Toronto Maple Leafs have good chances to get away with all points here.