The San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks will drop the puck for the second time this season at 7:00 p.m. PST Monday, February 4 at the Honda Center. Their first contest took place ended with a shootout win for the home team despite the absence of Dan Boyle, but the recap shows they were not the better team outside of the net.
The preview of that game outlines strengths and weaknesses on paper and through four or five games. But the eight games the Sharks have played is one sixth of the season, which would be almost a month in a normal season. NHL teams are developing their 2013 identity and early results are starting to become trends.
Thus, a look at how the teams fare by the numbers is relevant if unreliable. The Ducks trail the Sharks by four points in the Pacific Division but have played just seven games to their rival's eight. A regulation win Monday closes them to within what would be described as a half-game in sports with locker rooms full of jerseys rather than dressing rooms full of sweaters.
How have the teams gotten here? How do they match in key areas of the game?