Sharks-Blackhawks Friday night preview
Kevin Kurz joins CSNChicago to break down the Blackhawks-Sharks rivalry.
Had shark week now for two consecutive Fridays on the west side considering the last meeting Jonathan Toews decided drop the gloves -- Jeff Gordon. -- play any of subplots as the Hawks go for the best start in NHL history Friday night. Yeah there's no doubt and certainly that had to have been the biggest surprise for all of us I think to -- All of a sudden see Jonathan Toews channeling they're challenging Joseph Thornton and I was little history there they got the history out of the way -- fine now is entertaining but now. Now the Blackhawks are going for the seventeenth game of getting at least a point to and you know it's it's just everything's been going well for them. Other than a few injuries and then their flight and obviously they wanna continue to. I don't suspect we'll see Toews and -- dropping gloves this Friday. The Sharks are bigger things to worry about like offense start the season seven and -- -- they lose seven straight -- they got back in the win column. In Saint Louis but why the dramatic falloff from the start of the season Kevin. Well the start of the season the top line was so dominant Joseph Thornton Patrick Marleau -- Belsky we're just on fire they can be stopped. They dried up. And the Sharks offense dried up whether these Sharks have scored two goals or less in regulation for nine the last ten games now. The power play just two for 42. Over the last nine games. They can't score goals and it got a little bit better in Saint Louis they scored two. Anti Niemi he's been very good he's probably been the most consistent player all season even though you never very good game Chicago the other night but. Obviously when you snapped a seven game losing streak it's a big win. But I don't know they match up so well against the Blackhawks and then we saw that on Friday that at this point who does when you look. Get the drop off from that top line is it because the veterans that have a lot of miles on them. This 48 games in 99 days took -- told in the in the last 78 games. It isn't many got a little too comfortable that's always been the biggest criticism of this team is or compete level goes up and down throughout the season neck and Thornton Marleau really were not very good at all the last two weeks. They finally -- played a little bit better in Saint Louis and they got a win out of it but. The transition -- it was a very good passes were off everything just looked off from those first seven games and you know we'll see maybe now they got this win under their belts and we'll take a little bit he often and and the play a little bit more consistently. Tracy as Kevin mentioned anti Niemi he's been the best shark so far this season again didn't look good last Friday against the Hawks his old team. Allowing three goals are for rebounds is it because the Hawks are having a little better net presence this season than we've seen in the last two. I think that's a big part of that then you know at the first two seasons that they face their former goaltender I think it was in their head that they were facing their former goaltender Patrick -- used to talk nonstop about how hard it was. To beat Niemi and and that you know they've gotten past so many things. This year and absolutely that was one of on those rebound goals and of course Marcus Kruger on was just goofy. You know once you think -- bounces ever seen but when those rebounds were there. Against CME. The Blackhawks for there to capitalize and yeah that was a big problem with them over these last couple years and you're absolutely get into the net -- flight engine shop who's been fantastic get back in the day -- some unhappy at. And so there's no doubt that's the big difference to them this year. Kevin early on the Sharks could show you different styles they -- winning game 65 they can also with Niemi winning game. Two to one -- do you see with the speed of the Blackhawks that this Friday they may have to bring the body a little bit more. May be but the Sharks look slow and that team because they just weren't executing passes they couldn't get the puck out of their own zone that they they couldn't generate anything through the neutral zone and so because of that they look slow. There was little better against Saint Louis and and the Sharks have showed us that they can play that type of speed game. When they're on their game as we saw on the first seven games but. It hasn't been there lately and we'll see if it's officials will be around trying to third meeting should be adjusting between these two as the Hawks look to make NHL history Friday night on the west side of Chicago for the latest on the Hawks and Sharks -- can check out Tracey Myers worked. At CSN Chicago dot com and Kevin at CSN Bay Area.