|SAN JOSE SHARKS|
14-23-9 (37 points; .402%)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
7:00 P.M. – SATURDAY, JANUARY 21
Bally Sports Ohio
ESPN+ (Out of Market)
Even for this year's installment of the Columbus Blue Jackets, what happened Thursday night was bad.
The Blue Jackets took a 3-0 first period lead against the Anaheim Ducks — the worst team in the league playing outside of Nationwide Arena.
The Ducks scored five consecutive goals over the final two frames, leading them to a 5-3 victory and leading the Blue Jackets to an exit filled with boos from the Columbus faithful when the final buzzer sounded.
So it would seem that when the Blue Jackets are back at it in front of the home crowd Saturday night against the San Jose Sharks, that things can't possibly get any worse.
An easy prediction? Or, famous last words?
Here's what to know when the Sharks and Blue Jackets face off in another battle of bad teams:
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER MONEYPUCK||44%|
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER THE 538||44%|
|CAESAR'S SPORTSBOOK BETTING||SJ -140|
|SHARKS: LAST THREE GAMES|
|FRI, 1/13||vs. Oilers||L, 7-1|
|MON, 1/16||vs. Devils||L, 4-3 SO|
|WED, 1/18||vs. Stars||W, 5-3|
|SHARKS: TEAM LEADERS|
TALKING POINTS: SHARKS
Anaheim's victory over Columbus wasn't the only 5-3 tally this week. The Sharks are coming off a 5-3 win over the Dallas Stars. That was Wednesday, ending a three-game skid for San Jose.
Saturday's game is the first of eight straight road games for the Sharks. Nearly one-fifth of their road schedule is happening over the next weeks. With the All-Star Break quickly approaching, San Jose will not be in front of the home crowd against until Valentine's Day.
A moment to recognize Erik Karlsson. The veteran defenseman is having an incredible season. Yes, the defense is there. But the 32-year-old has put up 15 goals and 47 assists in San Jose's first 46 games, for a total of 62 points. The 47 apples are tied with Connor McDavid for the NHL lead. And Karlsson is a defenseman. On a bad team. That's incredible.
Timo Meier leads the team with 26 goals, far and away the most on the team — but five players are already in double-digits.
- They're bad, but there are plenty of strong points on these Sharks. They're third in the league in penalty kill (84.2%), near the middle of the league in goals per game (3.07)
HOW BAD CAN IT GET?
It can't get any worse than Thursday, right? The 5th Line wants to see a win, despite its potentially dangerous price. Columbus owns the worst record and thus the best chance at drafting Connor McDavid to the franchise. Wins, especially over bottom-five teams like San Jose, can be costly in the long-term — but the Blue Jackets can't just roll over and die.
NEW LINES (AGAIN)
Friday's practice saw a top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Boone Jenner, and Kirill Marchenko. Head coach Brad Larsen seems desperate to find a group that works well with each other, but they've got to have more than a few games to that and between roster moves and injuries have made that somewhere between tough and impossible. Gaudreau, Jenner, and Marchenko have all been linemates of one of the other two — but Saturday would mark their first in-game experience as a trio.
Updated: 7:05 a.m. // Subject to Change
|13||Johnny Gaudreau||38||Boone Jenner||86||Kirill Marchenko|
|14||Gus Nyquist||96||Jack Roslovic||29||Patrik Laine|
|91||Kent Johnson||34||Cole Sillinger||52||Emil Bemstrom|
|19||Liam Foudy||6||Sean Kuraly||24||Mathieu Olivier|
|4||Vladislav Gavrikov||27||Adam Boqvist|
|75||Tim Berni||44||Eric Gudbranson|
|77||Nick Blankenburg||2||Andrew Peeke|
|90||Elvis Merzlikins||40||Daniil Tarasov|