Game One Spark - Joe Pavelski
The San Jose Sharks take on the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the first round of playoffs tonight at 7:30 p.m. Please note all games will be carried LIVE locally on CSN-CA / KFOX 98.5-102.1 FM on the Sharks Radio Network.
On each game day, sjsharks.com will reveal a “Sharks SPARK”, as we will highlight a player we expect to be the Sharks difference maker in that evening’s game. – the player to lead the Sharks to the promise land (WIN!) that night.
With the use of stats, trends, quotes and instinct we will look into the future (that evening’s game) and predict the score along with the Sharks player that provides the winning SPARK! We welcome your predictions as well… so look into your crystal ball, magic eight ball, ask your pet, or look into the stars and make your prediction as to which player with SPARK the Sharks to victory in Game 1 over the Kings!
- Led the Sharks this regular season in points (79), goals (41), power play goals (16), and 2nd in +/- (+23).
- Led the Sharks with 19 goals and 43 points in 41 games this season at the SAP Center.
- 3rd in the NHL with 41 goals, tied-8th in points (79) and 7th among NHL forwards with 68 blocked shots.
- Brocade “Sharks Player of the Year”.
- Previous high was 31 goals…. and after 527 games without a hat trick – Joe had THREE this season.
- Had 48 points (28-20-48) in last 47 games.
- Five points (1-4-5) in six Olympic games for Team USA in Sochi.
- Ranks 3rd in Sharks franchise history with 50 points (24-26-50) in 74 Stanley Cup playoff games.
- Has three career overtime game winners in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the Sharks.
- Has led the Sharks in goals in the playoffs twice (2008 and 2010) and points twice (2010 and 2013).
Joe Pavelski led the Sharks with 79 points this season… it marked the first time since the 2002-03 season that neither Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau led the Sharks in points during the regular season (Teemu Selanne led Sharks with 64 points in 2002-03).
The trend has been broken… look for #8 to begin a new trend and start with a BIG Game 1 performance over the Kings.
With Hertl healthy again, the BIG question is where Pavs will skate tonight in Game 1 – a wing on the top line with Burns and Thornton OR a third line center. – not a bad problem to have if you are the Sharks heading into Game 1. Pavelski is ready to play at wing or center as we head into tonight’s opener.
"The other night in Phoenix, it was just on the fly. You go on the fly, you're back in the middle," Pavelski said. "I feel like a centerman most of the time even when I'm on wing. There's a few things to do, but preparation doesn't change that much."
I don’t expect Pavelski’s preparation OR his production to change heading into Game 1. The Kings better be prepared for Pavs in Game 1 tonight.
GAME 1 PREDICTION: (a look into the crystal ball)
Everything has gone Pavelski’s way this season (40+ goals, Olympic nod, three hat tricks, and even his favorite baseball team – the Milwaukee Brewers currently have the best record in baseball).
Pavelski will set the tone in Game 1 with a lead by example type effort. #8 led the Sharks with 19 goals at the SAP Center this season… Pavs likes the home cooking and will SPARK the Sharks to a 3-2 Game 1 victory over the LA Kings tonight. Center or wing, 1st line or 3rd, it will not matter for Joe has he scores his 25th career playoff goal and will lead the team in shots in Game 1. Pavelski will be a man on a mission and the entire Sharks playoff run this spring!
WHO IS YOUR GAME 1 SPARK?
What is your prediction for Game 1? Who do you think will SPARK the Sharks to a Game 1 victory over the Kings? Join the conversation below…. #SharksSparkPrediction