The NHL is set up with another exciting night of action on January 22. Nine games are up on the board throughout Friday night. One of these games will be between the San Jose Sharks and the Minnesota Wild. These two teams will look to come out strong in this one as they hunt for a big win. This game will drop the puck at around 8:00 PM Eastern time.
San Jose has opened up this season with a record of 2-2, which has them sitting in fifth place of the West Division. The Sharks are coming off a win in their last game against the St. Louis Blues. San Jose will look to build off that win as they look for another one on Friday night. The Sharks will look to come out hot in this meeting as they look to set the pace early.
The Wild have put up a record of 3-1 through the early part of this season, which has them in second place of the West Division. Minnesota is coming off a win in their last game to the Anaheim Ducks. The Wild will look to build off that win as they enter this matchup. Minnesota has had a solid start and will look to keep it up with another victory on Friday night.
These two teams have been solid out of the gate to open up this season. The Sharks and the Wild are both looking to earn a win in the first meeting of this season’s series. I expect both teams to try and come out hot in this one as they look for a win. If either team can get on the board early, it could be enough to propel them to the win.
The Sharks and the Wild met up three times throughout last season. San Jose hosted the first game on November 7. Eric Staal had a goal and two assists, while Luke Kunin had a goal and an assist. Logan Couture had a goal and three assists and Tomas Hertl had a goal and two assists. Brent Burns, Evander Kane, Timo Meier and Marcus Sorenson all had two points as the Sharks won 6-5.
The second game of the season series shifted to Minnesota on February 15. Dylan Gambrell opened up the scoring early in the third period. Melker Karlsson finished off the Wild with an empty netter late. Alex Stalock stopped 19 of 20 shots, but it was not enough. Martin Jones stopped all 39 shots he faced to help lead San Jose to a solid 2-0 win on the road.
The final game of the season series shifted back to San Jose on March 5. Stefan Noesen and Joe Thornton each scored for the Sharks, but it was not enough this time around. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter both had a goal and an assist, while Alex Galchenyuk added a goal on the night. Alex Stalock stopped 40 of 42 shots to propel Minnesota to a 3-2 win.
These two teams met up three times last season, with San Jose taking two of the three matchups. The Wild were able to win the final game of the season series. All three games were tight affairs that could have gone either way. I expect another tight meeting between these two teams on Friday night. If either team can get the offense going early in this one, it could be enough for the win.
San Jose’s special teams’ unit has been off to a fast start this season. The Sharks have been able to capitalize on 5 of their 18 power play opportunities, which is a 27.8 percent success rate. San Jose has also killed off 13 of 15 power plays against them, which is an 86.7 percent penalty kill. The Sharks will look to keep this up as they enter this one.
The Wild have struggled on the power play to open up this season, but have done great on the penalty kill. Minnesota has scored on 1 of their 20 power play chances, which is a 5 percent power play. The Wild have given up 1 goal on 13 power play attempts to opposing teams, which is a 92.3 kill rate. Minnesota will look to get their power play going in this one.
These two teams will look to keep up their strong penalty kill in this meeting. Minnesota’s power play has struggled early in the season and they could have some issues breaking through on the Sharks penalty kill. San Jose’s power play has been off to a hot start and they will look to break down the Wild’s killer penalty kill.
I expect Martin Jones to get the nod in the crease for San Jose on Friday night. Jones has started three games this season, going 2-1 through those games. He has not posted great numbers, earning a save percentage of .893 and a 3.08 GAA. Jones played against the Blues in his last meeting, stopping 22 of 23 shots in a winning effort.
Cam Talbot will likely get the start in the net for the Wild in this matchup. Talbot had put up a record of 2-1 throughout his three starts so far. He has posted a .926 save percentage and a GAA of 2.27 throughout those starts. Talbot’s last start was against the Anaheim Ducks, where he stopped 26 of 27 shots in a losing effort for Minnesota.
These two goalies have put up the same record throughout their first few games of the season. Talbot has put up the better numbers throughout the early portion of this season. Jones struggled last season as well, but will look to turn it around this season. Both goalies only gave up one goal in their last outing and will look to build on that coming into this one.
These two teams are looking to earn a big win in their first meeting of the season. Both teams are coming off a win in their last game, which should lead to an exciting matchup in this one. The Wild have had the better start, but I think that San Jose can open up this season series with a win. The Sharks are coming off a strong performance and I think they will build on that for a win in this one.
BetOnline has Minnesota listed as a -163 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Wild will win this game around 62 percent of the time. Minnesota has been strong to open up this season, but I think that this line should be closer to even. San Jose has not looked bad so far this season and as big underdogs in this one, I think they have a lot of value.