Blackhawks News

Behind Enemy Lines: San Jose Sharks

By JoHannah Lowder

Jan 5, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing

Brent Burns

(88) shoots the puck against Chicago Blackhawks goalie

Corey Crawford

(50) during overtime at the United Center. The San Jose Sharks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in the shootout. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks have a little bit of a history with the San Jose Sharks, and games between the two teams are hardly every casual or friendly. They met 3 times last season with the Sharks taking the series 2-1-0 with 2 shootout wins.

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The Sharks ended the season second in the Pacific Division and third in the Western Conference, which gave them the task of defeating the LA Kings in the first round. After taking a 3-0 series lead, the Sharks lost the next 4 games to become the Kings’ first victims in their run to the Stanley Cup. The Sharks were in the perfect position to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, but fell short without much of a reason.

Most of the Sharks regular faces are back, including veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau and young players like Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl. Couture and Hertl are both hoping for a healthier, longer season than last year, and the Sharks are looking to them to help contribute to leadership on the team. Goaltender Antti Niemi will still play for the Sharks, but may be replaced by backup Alex Stalock as the starting netminder.

Every Blackhawks fans’ enemy no. 1, Raffi Torres, missed most of last season with an ACL surgery and will probably miss much of this coming season due to the same injury. The Blackhawks likely won’t see him again until their third game against the Sharks in March of 2015.

The Sharks will have a chance to redeem themselves from their devastating first round playoffs exit on national television when they host the Kings in an outdoor game in February. They were host the 2015 Coors Light Stadium Series on February 21. It isn’t the first time the two teams will meet. They will face each other for the King’s banner raising ceremony on October 8 and twice more before February.

Although the Sharks haven’t made many changes in the offseason, they will still be a tough contender for the Blackhawks, like usual. The Blackhawks will face the Sharks 3 times next in the 2014-2015 season. What is your prediction for the series? Let us know in the comments!

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