The San Jose Sharks visit the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where they will face off against the Los Angeles Kings in a game that will be the season opener for the Kings.
After an offseason filled with tremendous expectations, the Sharks dropped their first game, 5-2, against the Anaheim Ducks. Evander Kane netted a goal and Tomas Hertl scored a beauty of a goal, deking past a defender and shooting it right past another after it seemed that he was about to be run into the right side boards.
Justin Braun also left the game with a point, an assist. Kane led the team in shots on goal, with 5. Much of the offseason hype was regarding the acquisition of defenseman Erik Karlsson and him playing alongside star D-man Brent Burns. The pair combined for 0 points and 3 shots on goal, so, from a statistical standpoint, it wasn’t exactly a “red letter” debut for the Sharks’ new defensive core.
They will likely look to make more of a mark in this game and should have plenty of opportunities to do so. The team as a whole will be looking for their first win in this game and even though it is only the second game of the season, no team wants to fall behind in the Pacific division.
Kings With Changes
The Kings, also in the Pacific division, will be looking to make a splash this year as well. They are led by the same core that led them to win the Stanley Cup twice (2012 and 2014): Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter, and the injured Dustin Brown. They also still have the still-tremendous Jonathon Quick in net. On paper, this lineup looks intimidating, but they disappointed in the playoffs last year, which is something they will not want to repeat. The Kings are favored in this matchup: at -115.
Kings’ President Luc Robitaille released a letter previewing the club’s upcoming season. In the letter, he lauds many achievements by his players that may have otherwise flown under the radar, due to the team’s poor performance in the playoffs. In it, he included the following:
“Anze Kopitar won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the second time in his career as the NHL’s top defensive forward and established career-highs in goals and points while being named a Finalist for the Hart Trophy
Drew Doughty was once again a James Norris Trophy Finalist for the NHL’s top defensemen and was named to the First All-Star Team for the second time in three years
Jonathan Quick led our goaltending group in allowing the fewest goals in the NHL, earning the club’s second ever William Jennings Trophy
Jeff Carter missed a huge portion of the season due to injury, but we are confident he is ready to return to being one of the NHL’s top centers
Dustin Brown returned to form with a career-high 61 points – his injury in the preseason is unfortunate, however we expect him to come back soon and add to our scoring depth
Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin, Trevor Lewis, Kyle Clifford, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson round out this group with leadership and Stanley Cup-Championship experience”
NOTE: The full letter may be found here: https://www.nhl.com/kings/news/open-letter-from-la-kings-president-luc-robitaille/c-300607452
Sharks Top Kings
The Sharks defense should be able to shut down the Kings. Bet on the San Jose Sharks at -110
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