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San Jose Sharks Vs. Philadelphia Flyers: Fan Preview
The San Jose Sharks are finally home after what I would call a disastrous road trip. While things certainly aren't looking the best for the Sharks at this point in time, the one thing they can count on is their fans. When they play against the Philadelphia Flyers, for the first time in nine games, they will have an arena full of fans wearing Sharks jerseys. While playing on the road is no joke, the Sharks showed just what kind of toll it can take on a team. Whether it is a lack of scoring, a lack of defense, or a lack of energy from such a long and brutal trip, something always hampers a team on the road.
Now the Sharks are back at HP Pavilion and facing a very good Flyers team on February 28. Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has won three of his last five games after starting the month 1-3. He has been shaky so far this year and according to fellow contributor Sean O'Brien, he will be the goalie for the Flyers come playoff time. He will face a tough test against the Sharks, especially since the Sharks are playing at home - where they are 18-9-2 on the year.
The Sharks have to get out in front early and bombard Bryzgalov with shots. Bryzgalov is giving up 2.82 goals per game right now and the Sharks need to take advantage of that. Here are some ways they can accomplish that:
The forecheck has been the Sharks' bread and butter all year. Even though it seems to have fallen flat recently, it is still the best way for the Sharks to score, especially against a goalie like Bryzgalov. His inability to stay focused can open up some easy scoring chances for the Sharks off the forecheck.
Bodies to the Net
Part of getting Bryzgalov to lose focus will be for the Sharks to get bodies to the net. The more traffic there is, the more difficult it will be for Bryzgalov to see what is going on. The Sharks have some players who can score from the point, and with the perfect amount of traffic or even a deflection, there are goals to be had for the Sharks.
Skate with Energy
The Sharks are returning home for the first time since February 10 when they played the Chicago Blackhawks and won 5-3. Returning home should give the Sharks the bit of energy they need to skate strong against the Flyers. Part of the Sharks' problems when they were on the road stemmed from their lack of energy when skating. Hopefully a return home will be the boost they need to get a victory.
The Sharks path back to first place in the Pacific Division starts at HP Pavilion against the Flyers.
Prediction: Sharks 3 - Flyers 2
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where they post fresh content daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
SJSharks.com. Sharks vs. Flyers Preview. NHL 2012.
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