Wednesday, February 6 was a day off for the weary San Jose Sharks. The only team news came out of Worcester, MA—a weekly update from the minor league club. It was as if everyone associated with the team took the day off—not even any new posts on CSN Bay Area or the San Jose Mercury News.
The day off was sorely needed after the trend this team is in: San Jose went from a three-goal win to two shootout wins to a shootout loss to a regulation loss before losing by two goals for the first time. The blue line let them down in that last loss, and it is no surprise given its medical report.
Top defenseman Dan Boyle has been battling the flu. All Star Brent Burns is still recovering from surgery. The best option to replace him, Jason Demers, has only been back from injury for two games.
Boyle returned Tuesday but was not at his best. He should be full strength by Saturday when the next Sharks game is played. They host the Phoenix Coyotes for the second time in this young season at 1:00 p.m. PST at HP Pavilion. The preview for the home opener ends with a look at the rosters of the two teams.
At that point, there were only two Sharks games to analyze. Now there are now 10 for each team, giving a glimpse of what to expect as the NHL approaches the quarter pole of their condensed season. Phoenix has another game on Thursday and any significant developments will be addressed. Otherwise, the current picture taken when the focus is how these teams compare in each phase of the game will not be appreciably different from the one that follows.