San Jose Sharks (26-9-6) at Colorado Avalanche (25-11-4)
|Date & Time||Saturday January 4, 2014, 3:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Colorado Avalanche +114 / San Jose Sharks -126 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Sharks head into Colorado looking to win back to back contests and keep pace in the Pacific division while the AVs look for their third straight win.
San Jose continues to produce results in the regular season as the perennial Cup contenders always seem to be in the mix for the President’s Trophy and this season is no different. The Sharks sit in second place in the Pacific division and trail the Ducks by five points for top spot but with the roster they have and the way they have played all season it would come as no surprise for them to take over the perch. San Jose is led up front by the likes of Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Patrick Marleau but also have some young talent in the form of Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture who can only benefit from playing with leaders on this team. Antii Niemi continues to be an underrated goaltender and that suits him just fine as he continues to put up wins and he will get the call for the Sharks tonight in Colorado.
The Avalanche started the season as one of the game’s best teams and while they haven’t played as well of late they remain very much in the mix in the Central division with the Blackhawks and Blues. The Avalanche have a number of games in hand though that if they can use to their advantage it would propel them back into one of the top spots in the league. Colorado is a team that benefitted largely from the draft lottery as they picked Nathan Mackinnon first overall to add to an already impressive forward group that includes Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny, and Gabriel Landeskog. Colorado has been great at home this season and while the Sharks have been a force this year they haven’t played nearly as well on the road as all but one of their losses have been away from home. I like that trend to continue here as I think the Avs are in a good spot and should be able to get the job done.