New Jersey Devils: Game vs San Jose Is Very Different Than We Thought

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 14: Evander Kane #9 of the San Jose Sharks skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 14, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Sharks 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 14: Evander Kane #9 of the San Jose Sharks skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 14, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Sharks 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks have not met expectations in 2019-20. Them meeting up now has them in positions we didn’t think they’d be in.

The New Jersey Devils are set to host the San Jose Sharks at the Prudential Center tonight. It is a game of two teams that ate certainly not going to the playoffs despite some pretty hefty expectations going into the season. Neither team got off to a good start and neither of them was able to pick it up and get themselves back in the race. They meet each other in late February in a spot that nobody expected them to be in.

The Devils are looking to come out swinging after an extremely dull performance against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. They didn’t score a single goal and the only reason they had a slight chance to win for most of the game was that Louis Domingue was outstanding early on in the game. It was a game that didn’t really have many good highlights for the road team. It was the 12th straight time that New Jersey lost to St. Louis.

Without Blake Coleman and Andy Greene, the team is significantly worse. If they keep trading away the expiring contracts or expendable players for future assets, the rest of the 2019-20 season could be really tough. On nights where Nico Hischier or Nikita Gusev don’t explode offensively, it is going to be tough for this team to score.

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As far as the Sharks go, they are having a horrible season themselves one year after yet another appearance in the Western Conference Finals. They went into the season with not only playoff aspirations but Stanley Cup aspirations.

They lost Joe Pavelski to free agency and have had a plethora of injuries. Their future isn’t as bright outside of their NHL level players so it is going to be interesting to see how they handle things going forward. They have a lot of money invested in aging players. This is a chance for the Devils to play a game against a struggling opponent and feel good about themselves.