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Preview/Lines #79: For Sharks, It’s “Biggest Game of the Year” Tonight Vs. Vegas



Credit: Brandon Andreasen

Unprompted, Timo Meier brought up the Vegas Golden Knights last night. Asked about winning Sharks Player of the Year, Meier instead talked about playing spoiler in today’s match-up with the rival Golden Knights: “I still want to do well in those last couple games, especially tomorrow. Biggest game of the year, against Vegas, if we can maybe knock them out of the playoffs.”

The Golden Knights are four points back of both the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators for a Western Conference wild-card spot. With four games remaining on their schedule, the Golden Knights are looking to pick up a clean sweep of points to secure a playoff berth. They have one game in hand on the Stars, and tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks is that game. Just one day after the third anniversary of Barclay Goodrow’s Game Seven OT winner, the Sharks could once again play a significant role in preventing a Golden Knights’ playoff run.

Sharks head coach Bob Boughner discussed the motivation that this opportunity creates among players, especially younger players, despite his team missing out on the post-season: “I just talked about the young guys and the experience and development they’re getting. Being able to be in a big game like this in a really tough building and exciting atmosphere, that’s a big thing when you talk about development.

“We know how important this game is for Vegas, so we have to be in that frame of mind.”

It’s going to be a battle for the San Jose Sharks, who have lost 11 straight games to the Golden Knights, dating back to the 2019-20 season. The last time that San Jose beat Vegas on Nov. 21, 2019, current Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer was still behind the bench for the Sharks. Boughner would relieve DeBoer three weeks later.

Going back to 2019-20, Meier is tied with Tomáš Hertl as the team leader in scoring in games against the Golden Knights. But the numbers are staggeringly low: Meier has three goals and two assists in 13 games, while Hertl has two goals and three assists in 11 games versus Vegas.

Boughner mentioned that Meier was setting a good example for the younger guys last night: “When young guys are surrounded with that and hear the veteran guys talk like that, that’s got to spike them too. I like that Timo was already thinking about that. Let’s face it, to give ourselves a chance tonight, guys like Timo, Tommy, [Logan Couture], they’re going to have to be our best players.”

Throughout the 14 games between the San Jose Sharks and Golden Knights following Game Seven, the Sharks have a record of 1-11-2. In that span of games, the Sharks have been outscored 52-21 and have been shut out twice.

A win tonight would add to the pressure on the already desperate Golden Knights and be even more satisfying for the Sharks and their fans.

SAN JOSE SHARKS (31-35-12)


Golden Knights Wrap: Playoff Odds and an Updates on Robin Lehner


Puck drop between the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights is at 7:00 PM PT/10:00 PM ET at T-Mobile Arena. Watch it live on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain and NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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