Connect with us

San Jose Sharks

Preview/Lines #57: Sharks, Devils Battle Tonight…Had Fun Together Yesterday



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

There are so many connections between the San Jose Sharks and New Jersey Devils, so many that even I forgot a few.

Walking into the Devils’ locker room at SAP Center after morning skate, on the eve of tonight’s game, I saw Nick DeSimone’s name plate. When we talked with Timo Meier, the star of the show in his return to San Jose, he pointed a couple stalls down, to Chris Tierney.

Meier on Different Devils’ Role, Their Fanbase, What He Learned From His Sharks’ Growing Pains

Obviously, the San Jose Sharks added a cadre of Devils last year in the Meier trade, like Fabian Zetterlund and Nikita Okhotiuk, both playing tonight. GM Mike Grier, a New Jersey assistant coach from 2019 to 2021, sent a 2023 sixth-round pick to the Devils for goalie Mackenzie Blackwood at the Draft. Blackwood is playing his first game against his first team tonight.

There’s also this:

Speaking of, I was curious about some of Zetterlund, Okhotiuk, and Blackwood’s relationships with the Devils. New Jersey has been in town since early yesterday.

Zetterlund said he had teammate William Eklund and Alexander Holtz over to his place for dinner. Zetterlund made sausage pasta, and Eklund gave it high marks, though he noted that Zetterlund’s pesto pasta is his favorite.

Zetterlund said he’s most excited to play Holtz and Nico Hischier tonight.

Math, Meteor Among Okhotiuk’s Unusual Obstacles on His Path to NHL (+)

Okhotiuk didn’t spend as much time in New Jersey – 15 games over parts of two seasons – so he didn’t see any of his ex-teammates yesterday.

He said he was excited to see everybody.

“Excited to hit everybody?” I joked with the rough-and-tumble defender.

“Just doing my job,” he smiled.

I wasn’t able to catch up with Blackwood today, but I learned that of the current Devils, he was probably closet with Dawson Mercer and Kevin Bahl.

“Fellow Canadian, he had the big truck and everything which I like, kinda like me, where I’m from,” Mercer, from working-class Carbonear, said of Thunder Bay native Blackwood. “Always just joking around, smiling.”

Finally Meier, who got together with local friends, and reunited…with warm weather.

“It was nice to grab some coffee, walk around in morning, get some sun,” he smiled. “I definitely miss that part of San Jose.”

San Jose Sharks (15-36-5)

Mackenzie Blackwood starts. Based on yesterday’s practice, this is how I see the lines:



New Jersey Devils (29-25-4)

Devils Notebook: Lineup Tweaks, Meier’s Return, First Time Facing Blackwood

Where to Watch

Puck drop between the San Jose Sharks and New Jersey Devils is 7:30 PM PT at SAP Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

Welcome to your new home for San Jose Sharks breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to SJHN+ for all of our members-only content from Sheng Peng and the National Hockey Now network plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Sheng’s Travel Fund

Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.

Click here to contribute to Sheng's travel pool!

Get SJHN in your inbox!

Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Hockey Shots

Extra Hour Hockey Training

Cathy’s Power Skating

Sharks Team & Cap Info

SJHN on Facebook