There should be no shortage of motivation for the San Jose Sharks heading into tonight’s home game versus the Anaheim Ducks.
Oh, and their last meeting with the Ducks wasn’t a great effort either.
From the Mercury News:
Two nights after an impressive 3-1 home victory over the Ducks, San Jose was thumped 6-3 in Anaheim on Dec. 31 in a game that left virtually all players and coaches in disgust. The Sharks allowed three goals in an awful second period and two more to start the third as they fell seven points behind the first-place Ducks.
Sharks coach Todd McLellan, in unwavering terms, challenged his players after that game to think about their roles and what they bring to the team. Since then, the Sharks are 20-9-1, absorbing a long-term injury to Tomas Hertl and a shorter-term injury to Logan Couture, to move into a first-place tie in the division with the Ducks with 97 points.
The Ducks, meanwhile, got some bad news yesterday when it was learned defenseman Cam Fowler could be out for the rest of the regular season with an MCL sprain.
Anaheim is a pedestrian 9-9-2 in its last 20 games — this after starting out 36-8-5 and building a 13-point cushion on the Sharks.
The winner of the Pacific Division will face one of the two Western Conference wild-card teams in the first round of the playoffs, while second place is likely to face the Kings.