With the series 2-2, the San Jose Sharks get a chance to regain control of Round 2 in the tank against a confident Colorado Avalanche club.
The San Jose Sharks were on their heels all night during Game 4. Colorado was able to rule the game at their pace and use home advantage to prioritize match-ups in their favor at zone starts.
If Team Teal is hoping for better results in Game 5, they must focus their defensive efforts on slowing MacKinnon and the like. That’s easier said than done, however, considering he’s been on the ice for over 63% of Colorado’s goals scored in that series.
This makes the San Jose Sharks’ inability to convert power play during this series much more frustrating. During this streak, Team Teal only converts at a rate of 10% (1/10). The Sharks will have to take advantage of these easy scoring opportunities if they are to survive this series.
Team Teal’s depth can make up for the Avalanche’s top-end talent at 5v5 in the long run. But if the Sharks don’t start producing with all that extra ice, their quest for the Stanley Cup will end in the second round for the second straight year
However, when you consider how many adversities they have already faced during these Stanley Cup playoffs. Expect Team Teal to react with great effort in the tank tonight. Both teams did a great job and made the right adjustments to respond to both teams’ firepower.
From what we gathered from morning skating, the San Jose Sharks won’t be the icing on the cake for Joe Pavelski again tonight. He is making progress every day and the training staff is confident that we will see the captain on the ice soon.
The Sharks will see Joonas Donskoi return to the line-up for Game 5. He hasn’t been around since Game 3 against Vegas and will be a nice addition to the worn-out Sharks roster.
The lineups appear to be the same for the Avalanche, but coach Pete DeBoer has signaled that the Sharks lineups are a game-time decision. However, here’s who can be expected on the ice for both clubs during Game 5.
San Jose Sharks Jose
Timo Meier ~ Logan Couture ~ Gus Nyquist
Evander Kane ~ Tomas Hertl ~ Joonas Donskoi
Marcus Sorensen ~ Joe Thornton ~ Kevin Labanc
Micheal Haley ~ Barclay Goodrow ~ Melker Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ~ Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon ~ Erik Karlsson
Joakim Ryan ~ Justin Brown
Scheduled starter ~ Martin Jones
Backup ~ Aaron Dell
Gabriel Landeskog ~ Nathan MacKinnon ~ Alexander Kerfoot
Mikko Rantanen ~ Carl Soderberg ~ Colin Wilson
Matt Calvert ~ JT Compher ~ Matt Nieto
Derick Brassard ~ Tyson Jost ~ Gabriel Bourque
Ian Cole ~ Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov ~ Tyson Barrie
Cale Makar ~ Samuel Girard
Planned starter ~ Philipp Grubauer
Backup ~ Semyon Varlamov
It would be an exaggeration to say that the fifth game tonight is a must for the San Jose Sharks. But bringing that streak back to Denver 3-2 would be a nightmare scenario. Despite Team Teals’ previous successes in playoffs in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it wouldn’t be wise for this tired group to push their luck away from home.
The puck drop for today’s game at the SAP Center is at 7:00 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast nationwide on NBCSN. The audio can be streamed through the NHL and Sharks apps courtesy of 98.5 KFOX.