San Jose Sharks (11-13-4)
A lot of question marks in #SJSharks line-up tonight: But Suomela WILL play center tonight. Nieto are Balcers are questionable. Other possible injured players. Dubnyk starts
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) March 20, 2021
— Locked on Suomela Hive (@LockedOnSharks) March 20, 2021
St. Louis Blues (15-10-5)
This was the St. Louis line-up last night. Back-up Ville Husso should start tonight. I assume Oskar Sundqvist, who left the game with a lower-body injury, won’t be available. Perhaps Dakota Joshua will draw in.
Where to Watch
Puck drop is 6 PM PT at SAP Center. Watch it on NBC Sports Bay Area, FOX Sports Midwest, or NHL.tv.
Don’t tell Kevin Labanc that the San Jose Sharks aren’t making the playoffs.
“There’s absolutely still belief and hope that we’re gonna make the playoffs,” Labanc said. “We’re not out of playoffs, we all know that we can make it. The hockey that we’ve been playing, we’ve been playing really good. Everyone’s been on the same page.”
With half a season to go, San Jose is nine points behind fourth-place St. Louis, with two games in hand. If the Blues go just .500 the rest of the way, the Sharks would need a .643 Points % to overtake them – a vast improvement from their current .464 rate. And if St. Louis keeps up their current .583 Points % pace, San Jose would need a .714 clip to surpass them.
Neither, obviously, seems likely. Of course, what do you expect Labanc to say when the San Jose Sharks are also far from mathematical elimination? To quote my Locked On Sharks partners, #SourForPower? #LayFlatForMatt?
He will keep up a brave face until he can’t. That said, even internally, the Sharks don’t seem like they’ve given up.
Marcus Sorensen, who’s not someone given to bravado, offered: “I think we can compete with all the teams in our division. We want to be in the top-four, but we will be there soon. This half of the season that is left is going to be big for us.”
Joe Namath, eat your heart out.
“We keep playing the same way,” Labanc said, “good things are gonna happen.”
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