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Randy's Thought of the Day - 10/30/2013

Wednesday, 10.30.2013 / 8:32 AM PT
By Randy Hahn - Sharks Broadcaster / Great White Bites
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Randy\'s Thought of the Day - 10\/30\/2013

It’s finally here. Tonight the Sharks face the Los Angeles Kings. Is it rivalry night on the west coast? You bet it is. Debate all you want but the Sharks top rival is LA and the Kings top rival is San Jose.

A dozen games into the season the Sharks sit atop the Pacific Division with 21 points. The Kings are 5 points back in fourth place. It’s too early to try and figure out what the landscape will look like in April but the early returns for both teams are good.

They might have looked a little flat last night in a 3-1 loss in Phoenix but the Kings have a good team again. They’re only 16 months removed from winning the Stanley Cup and last season got to the Western Conference Final for a second straight season. And oh yes, the Kings are the team that knocked the Sharks out of the playoffs last spring.

If you think that fact is lost on the Sharks players who skated off the ice at Staples Center following a 2-1 loss on May 28th you would be incorrect. Who knows if both the Sharks and Kings will make the playoffs this season? Who knows if they’ll meet again if they do both qualify? But if you are a Sharks player, coach or member of management you went into the past off-season thinking about what it would take to get past the Kings, didn’t you? How do you beat LA in a 7 game series? How do you win on LA ice, something the Sharks failed to do in last seasons second round series.

Those questions can’t be answered until a future playoff meeting, but the message sending starts tonight. The Sharks want to show that their early season improvement is for real. The Kings want to maintain the upper hand on their northern rivals.

It’s the biggest game of the season, so far. The Sharks want to beat LA.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - ANA 79 50 22 7 232 217 107
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 SJS 77 38 30 9 217 216 85
11 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
12 COL 77 35 30 12 207 218 82
13 EDM 77 23 41 13 186 260 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 77 36 32 11 68
L. Couture 77 26 38 -2 64
J. Thornton 73 14 48 -4 62
B. Burns 77 16 42 -4 58
P. Marleau 77 18 36 -16 54
T. Wingels 70 15 20 -4 35
T. Hertl 77 12 17 -1 29
M. Nieto 67 8 17 -10 25
M. Karlsson 48 13 10 -1 23
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 29 22 7 .914 2.62
A. Stalock 8 7 2 .907 2.47
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