Sharks-Blue Jackets coverage starts today at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California
WHERE THEY STAND
Sharks: 1-0-0, 2 points
Blue Jackets: 0-1-0, 0 points
NEWS AND NOTES
1 – Road trip begins
After just one game at home, the Sharks embark on a five-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams starting Saturday in Columbus. San Jose was the NHL’s best road team last season with a franchise record 28-10-3 mark. The trip continues in New York after the weekend, with back-to-back games against the Rangers on Monday and Islanders on Tuesday.
2 – Sharks balanced attack
Coach Pete DeBoer was especially pleased with the Sharks’ “team game” in their win on Wednesday. All four lines and three defense pairs contributed, and minutes were spread out fairly evenly in a 2-1 win that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate. If there’s one area for the Sharks to improve, it would be finishing off on more of their scoring chances, according to DeBoer.
3 – Blue Jackets look to avoid another poor start
Columbus began last season with eight straight regulation losses, resulting in a coaching change when John Tortorella replaced Todd Richards. The Jackets are already off on the wrong foot, losing Boston at home on Wednesday, 6-3. Their upcoming schedule is difficult, too, with their next seven games against San Jose (twice), Dallas (twice), Chicago, Los Angeles and Anaheim.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Sharks: Logan Couture. The 27-year-old posted one goal and one assist on Wednesday against L.A., centering the Sharks’ best line of the night with Joonas Donskoi and Mikkel Boedker. Of his 15 goals last season, 11 came on the road. In 15 games against Columbus in his career, Couture has 12 points (4g, 8a).
Blue Jackets: Brandon Dubinsky. The Blue Jackets’ top line, featuring Dubinsky at center, was eaten alive by the Bruins on Thursday in a 6-3 Boston win. Dubinsky was a minus-five. The 30-year-old former Ranger has had some success against the Sharks, with nine points (1g, 8a) in 10 career games.
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Mikkel Boedker – Logan Couture – Joonas Donskoi
Patrick Marleau – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Matt Nieto – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko
Boone Jenner – Brandon Dubinsky – Cam Atkinson
Brandon Saad – Sam Gagner – Nick Foligno
Scott Hartnell – Alexander Wennberg – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Matt Calvert – William Karlsson – Josh Anderson
Zach Werenski – Seth Jones
Jack Johnson – Markus Nutivaara
Dalton Prout – David Savard
Blue Jackets: Ryan Murray (lower body), David Clarkson (lower body) and Cody Goloubef (oblique) are out.
“Today’s game you have to have four lines that you can roll. It’s such a long and grueling season that once you get into June and even July, the fresher team is usually the better team. For us, it’s just rolling those four lines and playing six D, and saving the big guys for later in the season.” – Matt Nieto