Sharks - Red Wings

The Sharks have the best record in hockey. By far. They are doing everything right. New coach Todd McClellan has them playing smart hockey, not just the Ron Wilson "go out and try to outscore the opposotion" hockey. They are the best offense in the league, and the third best defense.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings are cruising along at a nice clip if you look at only their record. But they have struggled mightily this year at the aspect that has been their forte. They rank 23rd in defense, with a penalty kill under 20%. That is bad for any team, but for this one, it is horrible. Since Scotty Bowman arrived in 1993, the emphasis has always been on the defensive end. With the second ranked offense, right behind the Sharks, they have been able to win a lot of close games so far. But falling behind 2-0 in the first, and losing three goal leads in the third adds up quickly, and they will start losing a lot of these games at some point.

Tonight's game will be a nice test for them, to see if they can bounce back from a bad, bad 3-2 loss at home to Colorado. San Jose played an OT game last night in Hell Columbus, so the Wings should jump on them early. It's very early in the season, and there is plenty of time to fix what's ailing them. Hopefully it starts tonight.

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