The San Jose Sharks came close last night, but they couldn’t prevent the Buffalo Sabres from their tenth win in a row. Jeff Skinner, because who else, scored the winner in overtime on a nifty move to beat Martin Jones. The Sharks tied the game late up on the power play thanks to a controversial call by the official to give them the extra skater. It was enough to give the Sharks a point out of the loss.
The Sabres have been a wrecking ball, as they’ve motored to the top of the standings in the NHL. People that doubted the Golden Knights last season were burned, so it might be in the rest of the leagues best interest not to take the Sabres lightly. We could have another unlikely run on our hands. No, it would not be anywhere as impressive as what Vegas did last night. Buffalo have quietly been building their arsenal since drafting Jack Eichel in 2015.
The Sharks had their opportunities in the last decade to capture a Stanley Cup, but similar to their Californian counterparts, the Ducks, they’ve been unable to get over the roadblock in the playoffs. And just like the Ducks, the rest of the league may have passed their aging core by. Joe Thornton is still in San Jose, but the 39-year-old is playing on borrowed time.
Thornton was traded in 2005 from the Bruins to the Sharks and has remained there throughout his career. His team enters Toronto with a record of 12-9-2 following the loss last night. It’s been a tough bit of a stretch for the Sharks, as they were in Las Vegas on Saturday a day after beating the Canucks. Then having to fly to play the surging Sabres, and now they see the Maple Leafs the very next day. We’ll see how they handle it on Wednesday evening at Scotiabank Arena. Get our free Sharks vs. Maple Leafs pick below.
San Jose Sharks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Pick
This is what is usually on the other side of a six-game stay at home. A trip on the road to even things out. The Sharks went 4-2 at home before dropping their first two games on the road. They will be back in San Jose to play the Hurricanes on December 5th. After Toronto, they face the Senators on Saturday and Canadiens Sunday. Not the most fun trip, but every team has to go on them during the season.
The Sharks are still waiting for their next win in the east. We need to go back to October 9th to locate their last win, which came against the Flyers. In fact, the Sharks have won just two other road games since that 8-3 win in Philadelphia. It’s been tough for them, with 2.67 goals per game compared to the 3.42 goals per game they have allowed on the road.
For all of the talk of the Leafs’ defence being so bad this season, they are 3rd in the NHL with 2.56 goals allowed per game. All of the talk when whey signed Tavares is that it wouldn’t matter because of all the goals they will give up. They are scoring goals as well, though, with 3.52 per game for 4th in the league.
Frederik Andersen has been rock solid, posting a 2.22 GAA and 0.932 save percentage. Pekka Rinne is the clear Vezina favourite at the moment, though Andersen is in the picture and there is a long way to go this season. The Leafs have allowed just 2.15 goals per game in Toronto in 2018-19. In their last two outings, they beat the Flyers and Bruins by a combined score of 10-2. The Maple Leafs appear to have the edge in this contest on Wednesday.