On Sunday night at 8:30 PM EST the Boston Bruins will be facing the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center. This will be the final game of the series between the Bruins and Sharks and the Bruins won their first meeting at TD Garden 6-3. Bruins goals came from David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak(2), Tim Schaller and Brad Marchand. The Sharks goal scorers were Joe Thornton, Justin Braun, and Timo Meier. This was the first game that Bruce Cassidy coached behind the Boston bench and the team looked ecstatic and it showed in their play. The Bruins played a more fast paced, offensive game and we hope to see that on Sunday night at SAP Center in San Jose. Let’s take a more in depth look at both teams:
The Bruins currently have a record of 29-23-6 and are sitting in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division. The B’s have an away record of 14-10-6 which is alright, but of course it is not great. You would like to see them win more both at home and away. As we all know, teams below the Bruins in the standings have games in hand and could ultimately pass the Bruins and take their playoff spot away from them. Brad Marchand is the current Bruins leader in points with 58 and is also leading in assists with 34. In his last five games Marchand has recorded 7 points, scoring 3 goals and recording 4 assists. I would look for him to have a big game against the Sharks. David Pastrnak leads the team in goals with 25. In his last five games Pastrnak has 10 points, scoring 5 goals and recording 5 assists. At just 20 years old, Pastrnak looks like he will be the future of the Bruins offense. I also would look for him to have a big game against the Sharks as Cassidy’s new style of play has given him a boost. Zdeno Chara seems to be playing better as well. In his past five games he has 5 points, scoring 2 goals and recording 3 assists. At 39 years old, Chara is showing that he can still play in the NHL. In his past five games Torey Krug has 5 points, scoring one goal and recording 4 assists. Krug is also fantastic on the powerplay so I would expect to see him record a couple more assists in Sunday night’s game. I would expect Tuukka Rask to be in net on Sunday night. He has a current record of 27-13-4 with a 2.27 GAA and .912 SV%. Rask has played pretty much every game for Boston and gives the team a chance to win almost every single night. Rask will be on his game against the Sharks as the Bruins are trying to get as many points as possible.
San Jose Sharks:
The Sharks currently have a record of 34-18-6 and are first in the Pacific Division. The Sharks are in good standing in their division with 74 points. At home, the Sharks are 18-7-3 which is fantastic, so I would expect them to have a lot of energy on Sunday. At this point they will most likely make the playoffs, but nothing is definite of course. It’s no surprise that Brent Burns leads the team in points, goals, and assists. Burns has 25 goals and 36 assists which tallies up to 61 points. Burns is a physical, speedy offensive defenseman. I would lookout for guys like Logan Couture who has 19 goals and 19 assists for a total of 38 points, Joe Pavelski who has 20 goals and 32 assists for a total of 52 points, and Patrick Marleau who has 20 goals and 13 assists for 33 points. The Sharks pretty much have a solid four offensive lines and I would like to see the Bruins bottom two lines step up in this game and get some points. Like the Bruins, the Sharks play an offensive game so both goaltenders should be pretty busy. Which brings me to the Sharks starting goaltender Martin Jones. Jones has a record of 28-15-5 with a 2.35 GAA and .913 SV%. Jones will probably have a better game against Boston this time around as he will be more prepared than he was last time.
Both Tuukka Rask and Martin Jones have similar stats and are both very good goaltenders but I would expect Tuukka Rask to have a better game than Jones as he has also received a boost from the firing of Claude Julien. I think the Bruins will win this game 5-3 with goals from Brad Marchand(2), David Pastrnak, David Krejci, and Torey Krug. The Sharks will get goals from Brent Burns, Joel Ward and Patrick Marleau. I expect this game to be fast paced and physical. The Sharks will want this win because they lost to the B’s the first time they met, so expect them to play a better game this time around.
Photo: (CSN Bay Area)