These upcoming two games with the San Jose Sharks are the only meetings the Avs have with the teal and black this season. They're important for San Jose as they attempt to get closer to a guaranteed spot as a Top 3 team in the Pacific. For the Avs........... uh. Two losses get them closer to the #1 pick, so, that's good? Anyway, here's a few questions and answers we had for Fear The Fin and the kind answers of Jacob Sundstrom in return. Check their site out or give them a follow on Twitter this weekend! They're good people.
1) Our old friend Mikkel Boedker got a hat trick recently for you guys. What's the word been on #89 and what's his role with the Sharks?
Well you might be aware that those three goals doubled his goal output for the season, so Boedker has been in a bit of a funk this season for San Jose. I'm still very much in the camp that says he's been stupendously unlucky, not bad; but he's been roundly criticized at times this season. Getting him going would be great for the Sharks.
2) There's a bit more competition in the Pacific this season from the teams that aren't based out of California, namely from the Alberta teams. If the season ended today, the Sharks would have a first round matchup with the Edmonton McDavids. How do the Sharks shape up against the Oilers?
The Sharks are a much, much deeper team than the Oilers, unsurprisingly, but the speed of McDavid can give San Jose's top line hell if Edmonton wises up and dresses a speed line. That being said, I like San Jose's chances against just about anyone in the Western Conference in a seven-game series.
3) This was a team two wins away from the Cup last season. In your unbiased opinion, is the 16-17 squad better than the 15-16 team, and if so, is this the year Lord Stanley visits the Bay Area?
Yes, this team is absolutely better than last year's. The defense is undoubtedly better (swapping out Roman Polak with David Schlemko helps) and the forward group is better when healthy. A lot needs to go right to get back to the Stanley Cup Final, let alone win it, but I think this group has an even better chance than last year's group to go all the way.