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San Jose Sharks

Preview/Lines #30: Quinn on Why He’s Starting Makiniemi

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Eetu Makiniemi will make his first NHL start tonight.

San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn explained tapping the 23-year-old rookie, who made his NHL debut in relief on Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks, over struggling Kaapo Kahkonen: “We have a goalie that we like a lot [in Eetu]. And we like Kaapo a lot. But we lost the other night 6-5 and we want to give the kid a chance.”

Makiniemi on What He Owes His Parents, Talks ‘Dream Come True’

Quinn maintained that tonight isn’t about giving Kahkonen, who has a 3-6-2 record with an .877 Save %, a physical or mental reset, it’s more about Makiniemi.

“I like his competitiveness, his quickness, his calmness. There was a lot to like about him,” Quinn said. “And obviously I heard a lot about him when we traded for him.”

It’s been a meteoric rise for Makiniemi, at least from the outside looking in.

Makiniemi was thought to be something of a throw-in prospect in the Brent Burns trade and was coming off a serious lower back injury that ended his 2021-22 season in December.

Makinieimi Healthy, Excited for ‘Good Opportunity’ in Sharks Organization

But Makiniemi has earned more starts than fellow prospect Strauss Mann and veteran Aaron Dell with the San Jose Barracuda, to the tune of a 6-4-1 record with a .918 Save %.

San Jose Sharks (8-16-5)

Steven Lorentz, who had the flu, will slide in for C.J. Suess tonight. Otherwise, the Sharks lines should look like this:

Meier-Hertl-Labanc
Bonino-Couture-Barabanov
Svechnikov-Sturm-Kunin
Gadjovich-Lorentz-Lindblom

Megna-Karlsson
Vlasic-Benning
Harrington-Simek

Makiniemi

Quinn also gave a Matt Nieto injury update:

Anaheim Ducks (7-17-3)

This is how the Ducks lined up in their last game, a victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday:

Where to Watch

The San Jose Sharks will take on the Anaheim Ducks at 7 PM PST at Honda Center. Watch it live on ESPN+ and Hulu. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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