The road trip continues for the San Jose Sharks, as they make the short trip from NYC to New Jersey for this one. The Sharks are coming off a tough, 3-2, overtime loss to the Rangers at MSG. This will be the final stanza of their five-game road trip out east. There is at least one Shark who is getting homesick. Erik Karlsson has been feeling under the weather and may be unavailable to suit up on Sunday.
The Sharks are of course hoping that he can give it a go, but his status is up in the air. They don’t play until Thursday, so he is going to have a few days off to rest regardless. The loss to the Rangers was a big downer after they pummeled the Flyers for a final score of 8-2. Some of that energy was lost on the way to NYC. Luckily, they don’t have to go far for Sunday’s contest.
The Devils have been out there looking to prove a point thus far this season. They are fresh off a blowout win over the Capitals by a score of 6-0. That was after a 5-2 win over the Oilers, so everything has been going well for the Devils in their previous two games.
The Devils are a team who went 44-29-9, so any talk that them blowing the Capitals out is a fluke is a little crazy. Surprising that the Caps didn’t put up a fight? Sure, but the Devils can play with anyone and are likely poised to top their 44 wins from last season. It took Taylor Hall a minute, but he’s finally reached his full potential as a member of the Devils. Getting out of Edmonton was the best-case scenario for him. Head below for our free Sharks vs. Devils pick.
San Jose Sharks vs. N.J. Devils Pick
The most impressive part of the Devils win over the Capitals was their defence. Holding the Capitals to no goals and only 21 shots is an impressive feat. It was the second game in a row that the defence played a good game. They held the Oilers to just 19 shots five days earlier, so the nice defence certainly carried over.
Keith Kinkaid pitching a shutout against the Caps was impressive, too. With Cory Schneider on the shelf and working himself back from injury, Kinkaid has been getting chances. It’s been a good look for him so far, as he goes into Sunday with a 1.00 GAA and 0.95 save percentage.
Despite losing their opener, the Devils have statistically looked like the best team in the league out of the gate. Or at least, the most well-rounded team in the league. While teams have been getting blasted on defence, the Devils have been one of the few holding up in that regard thus far.
They’ve given up 1 goal per game and scoring 5.5 goals per game. It’s a rather small sample size, but it isn’t like they feasted on terrible teams to get those quality numbers. The Devils are likely going to be a team to keep an eye on this season as a dark horse in the Eastern Conference. Also, keep in mind that this should feel like a really early game for the Sharks. A 1:00 start on the east coast translates to 10:00 AM for the Sharks. They’ve had some days to adjust to the new time, but it still hurts against a good team, who haven’t had to travel out of their time zone so far this year. Take a look at the Devils if you’re looking for some hockey action on Sunday.