With their weekend loss to the Minnesota Wild still fresh in their minds, the San Jose Sharks should be out for justice against a very familiar Western Conference opponent Thursday, Dec. 12. The pictured personnel comparisons are even better for the home team this time because Josh Harding played Wednesday.
Sunday, he turned away the first 37 shots he faced. The night after a 2-1 loss at the Anaheim Ducks, he will not be the same goalie if he does play. Niklas Backstrom is expected to be in net because he is better rested than Harding without rest.
Then again, it has often not mattered whose been in the opposing net lately. San Jose has failed to score more than two goals in 12 of their last 23 games, compiling a 12-6-5 record over that span after starting the 2013-14 NHL season 8-0-1 by always scoring three or more goals in regulation.
The Sharks need to get back to scoring if they want to win a Stanley Cup. They are lethal when they can add scoring to their solid defensive game.
The time is right now. They are as healthy as they have been all season. Minnesota is not even on pace to make the Stanley Cup playoffs in the demanding Western Conference, with a ninth-best point percentage of .621 that would be good for second place in either of the Eastern Conference divisions.
The Sharks have to seize the moment and cut their second significant losing streak of the 2013-14 NHL season short at four.