The NHL is set up with a lot of great action throughout Thursday night. Fourteen games will be up on the board throughout January 28. One of these matchups will be between the San Jose Sharks and the Colorado Avalanche. These two teams have had solid starts to this season and will look for a big win in this meeting. This game will drop the puck at around 9:00 PM Eastern time.
San Jose has opened up this season with a record of 3-4, which has them sitting in seventh place of the West Division. The Sharks are entering this matchup after a big loss to Colorado on Tuesday night. San Jose will look to come out stronger in this one as they look to avoid another loss to the Avalanche. I expect the Sharks to try and set the pace in this one.
The Avalanche have started out this season with a record of 4-3, which has them in a tie for third place in the West Division. Colorado is coming off a dominant win in their last one, which got them back above .500. The Avalanche will look to build off that win with another victory in this one. Colorado will look to keep the momentum in this one against the Sharks.
Both teams have put up solid records to open up the season in a very competitive West Division. Both teams could use a big early season win in this one, which should lead to a good game on Thursday night. I expect both teams to try and set the pace early as they hunt for a win. The Sharks are coming off an embarrassing loss to Colorado, which they should try to bounce back quickly from.
The Sharks and the Avalanche met up twice throughout last season. Colorado hosted the first game on January 16. Valeri Nichushkin, Cale Makar, Ryan Graves and Matt Calvert all scored a goal for the Avalanche on the night. Philipp Grubauer stopped all 27 shots he faced as Colorado was able to dominate for a 4-0 win at home.
The second game of the season series shifted to San Jose on March 8. Noah Gregor, Melker Karlsson and Joe Thornton all scored for the Sharks, while Timo Meier had two assists. It was not enough though. Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon each had a goal and two assists on the night. Vladislav Namestnikov had a goal and an assist, while J.T. Compher had two assists. The Avalanche earned a 4-3 win to sweep the season series.
The first game of this season series was in Colorado on Tuesday night. Logan Couture and Ryan Donato each had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, but it was not enough. Cale Makar had three assists, while Brandon Saad scored twice. Andre Burakovsky and Valeri Nichushkin each had two points as well. Fourteen different players had a point for the Avalanche as Colorado cruised to a 7-3 win.
Colorado has won three straight games against the Sharks, sweeping last season’s series and winning to open up this season’s series. The Avalanche will look to build off their explosive offensive performance in the last one, while San Jose will look to tighten up defensively. The Sharks will look to get a better start as they try to finally knock off the Avalanche.
The Sharks have gotten off to a solid start on both sides of special teams this season. San Jose has scored on 6 of their 30 power play opportunities, which is a 20 percent power play. The Sharks have been able to kill off 23 of the 28 powerplays against them, which is an 85.2 percent kill rate. San Jose will look to keep this going in this one.
Colorado has been strong on both the power play and the penalty kill as well this season. The Avalanche have scored on 11 of their 34 power play chances, which is a 32.4 percent success rate. Colorado has given up 3 goals on 27 power play attempts by opposing teams, which is an 88.9 percent penalty kill. The Avalanche will look to dominate again on special teams in this one.
These two teams have both jumped out to a hot start on special teams so far this season. San Jose has been a little bit worse in comparison to the Avalanche. If either team can break through on their opponents penalty kill, it could be enough to propel them to the win in this one. Both teams will look to stay out of the box early in this one.
Martin Jones will likely get the nod in the crease for San Jose in this matchup. Jones has earned a record of 3-2 through five starts so far this season. He has put up a save percentage of .871 and a 3.91 GAA so far this season as well. Jones stopped 14 of 19 shots against the Avalanche on Tuesday night before getting pulled in the second period.
I expect Philipp Grubauer to get the start in the net for the Avalanche on Thursday night. Grubauer has put up a record of 4-2 throughout this season so far. He has earned a .919 save percentage and a GAA of 2.17 throughout those starts. Grubauer finished with 27 saves on 30 shots in Tuesday’s win. Colorado will look for Grubauer to come out hot in this one as well.
These two goalies have had opposite starts throughout the early part of this season, but have each earned winning records early. Grubauer has a better save percentage early in this season. Jones has struggled a bit and will look to bounce back after being pulled in his last start. I expect Jones to try and come out quick in this one as he tries to help get his team back to .500.
The Sharks are coming off a huge loss in their last game and will look to bounce back against Colorado in this one. The Avalanche was able to win by a dominant score, which should help motivate San Jose. If Jones can come out better in this one, it could help give the Sharks a chance to earn the win. I expect San Jose to match up well on special teams in this one as they try to gain an edge.
BetOnline has Colorado listed as a -233 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Avalanche will win this game around 70 percent of the time. I think that this line is a little too big early in the season. If San Jose can come out hot in this one after Tuesday’s loss, they should have a good chance to pull off the upset. As huge underdogs, I really like the value on the Sharks.