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Sharks Gameday: Kobayashi Maru

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I don't believe in no-win scenarios.
I don't believe in no-win scenarios.

Next Game

San Jose Sharks
@ St. Louis Blues

Saturday, Dec 10, 2011, 5:00 PM PST
Scottrade Center

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The Blues are a frightening opponent, and not just because I'm concerned Logan Couture might run in to trouble with this guy, just one of the 424 sex offenders that live or work near the Scottrade Center. The Blues are also scary this year because they actually seem to be a good team.

Take a look a the updated Western Clear Victory Standings from Copper and Blue:

  1. Detroit Red Wings (14-4, .778)
  2. Vancouver Canucks (10-5, .667)
  3. St. Louis Blues (7-4, .636)
  4. San Jose Sharks (7-4, .636)
  5. Chicago Blackhawks (8-6, .571)

Here's a fun activity: any time San Jose and St. Louis are listed alphabetically, look at which one is listed first. Following the correct rules for alphabetizing, St. Louis should be first - but in practice it's about a coin-flip which one gets listed where.

The Blues and the Sharks have identical records in Clear Victory games (hilariously the league-leading Minnesota Wild are 9th in the West by this measure. Count me among the Wild doubters, because that team is NOT as good as their record). The Blues have been getting most of their wins thanks to strong defense and goaltending. They're 2nd in the league in goals-against-per-game at only 2.11, which has helped make up for their slightly-below-average rate of scoring goals. All our best statistical indicators tell us that the Blues are a serious competitor (even if, amusingly, they have the worst powerplay in the league).

The Blues are for real. The Sharks should win tonight, but it won't be easy.

Prediction: Sharks win 4-3. Goals by Marleau, Mitchell, Burns, and Clowe. It's only logical.

My 57th-favorite movie is the modern Star Trek reboot. It inspired a discussion question for today: if an average modern NHL player (not a superstar, a 3rd-line guy) went back in a time machine to play in the NHL of fifty years ago, would his modern equipment, training, and skill-set make him the league's best player? Make your voice heard in the comments.