1. Vlasic returns: Good timing for the Sharks, as their high shutdown defenseman can be able to play Wednesday towards the NHL’s greatest offensive workforce. Marc-Edouard Vlasic took the morning skate, stated he felt good and was desirous to play towards the Lightning.
Vlasic missed Saturday’s recreation towards Anaheim with a head damage he suffered Nov. 1 towards Nashville on a verify from Ryan Johansen. He’ll be again alongside Justin Braun because the Sharks look to regulate the tempo of Wednesday’s recreation.
13 video games in, groups are beginning to set up themselves,” Vlasic stated. “A workforce that has this a lot offense at the start of the yr hopefully can proceed it by 82 video games, however there’s nonetheless 60-plus video games left.
Proper now, they've one of the best offense within the league. They’ve been taking part in Four-Three, 5-Four video games, us on the opposite facet have been taking part in slightly tighter. It’ll be an awesome take a look at for us defensively.”
2. Particular groups battle: The Sharks’ penalty kill, ranked second within the NHL as of Wednesday morning, faces the league’s second-best energy play as Tampa Bay is 9 for 26 (34.6 %) with the person benefit over its final seven video games and 17 for 59 (28.eight %) for the season.
The Sharks have performed an honest job staying out of the penalty field over the past 5 video games, having been on the penalty kill simply 12 occasions (and killing 11 of them).
Few groups, although, can match the firepower Tampa Bay has on its first energy play unit with Stamkos, Kucherov, Victor Hedman, Alex Killorn and Vladislav Namestnikov, who've mixed for 11 objectives and 25 assists on the person benefit.
Stamkos will get arrange close to the faceoff circle to place himself in place to unleash top-of-the-line one-timers within the league.