The Boston Bruins - San Jose Sharks match-up on Friday morning (Australia time) features two of the top teams in the National Hockey League.
The Sharks are in the middle of a nine-day road trip. In their first away game, they defeated the Detroit Red Wings 1-0. They are recovering nicely from a 3-4 loss at Dallas on Saturday morning, which snapped the six-game winning streak with which they started the season. Still, the Sharks are on top of the Pacific Division and the Western Conference with an 8-0-1 record.
The Bruins, with a 5-2-0 card, were third in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. They are currently enjoying a streak of three straight wins, including a 5-0 embarrassment of the Tampa Bay Lighting on their opponents' rink. With a win over the Buffalo Sabres, they successfully leapfrogged over the Carolina Hurricanes and the Detroit Red Wings to take sole possession of third place in the East and second in the Atlantic.
The two teams play contrasting styles. The Sharks prefer a more up-tempo style that places a premium on offense. They have scored 40 goals on their opponents so far in 2013, with two players -- Patrick Merleau and Thomas Hertl -- scoring seven each. In fact, their offensive line is so deep that 14 players have already scored goals and five have had five assists or more, with 19 of their skaters contributing to the offense. The Sharks have what are arguably the best offense and defense in the league as they have only allowed only 16 opposing goals.
The Bruins, though, look like they'd rather watch the World Series than take to the rink. As of Oct 18, they were only able to score 13 goals through six games. As of late, though, possibly fueled by the Red Sox's miracle year, they have been on a scoring binge, scoring five games each in their last two games. Their six-day road trip, taking them on a ride up the Atlantic seabord, has been successful in rescuing them from the ignonimity of a 3-2 start. They should come back to a wildly enthusiastic Boston crowd at TD Garden where they have had a mixed 2-2 record.