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Sharks Gameday: Guess Who's Back?

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No, it's not Claude Lemieux. That dude's skating in the AHL, not the NHL, and despite some people speculating that this move might be made to intimidate the Detroit Red Wings (uh...I don't think Lemieux's intimidating anyone in the NHL at this point, but interesting theory), we won't be seeing him in San Jose unless he wants to buy Doug Wilson a pizza or something.

Of course, Darren McCarty just got sent to the AHL too, so they can sell some minor-league tickets promoting Avs-Wings circa 1997. That could be fun.

In the meantime, Evgeni Nabokov will return in net today against the Chicago Blackhawks. The crowd gave Nabby a good welcome-back chant on Saturday night when he was shown on the in-house camera. As well as Brian Boucher has played, I don't think anyone's unhappy about having Nabby back between the pipes. That is, except for this guy.

Chicago comes in on a hot streak and they're thinking sweep even though they're only halfway through their six-game road swing. Of course, if the Sharks play like they did last week at the United Center, they'll give the Hawks every opportunity to do so. I'd try and come up with some statistical crunch regarding this but it's a busy pre-holiday work day, so we'll have to save that for another time.

One more thing about tonight: it's the second night of the black jerseys. The victory over Washington pushed aside any bad memories of the old Black Thursday curses, but a second win tonight will put lingering doubts out to pasture.