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Sharks Stay Hot
By Victor Cabrera
San Jose looked to keep the momentum going in 2017 and that’s exactly what they did in the month of January. The Sharks played 14 games through the month earning a 9-4-1 record for 19 points. They currently are at the top of the Pacific and Second in the Western Conference with 66 points on the season. They’ve been very consistent this season and are on the right track of battling for Lord Stanley in the 2016-2017 season. In January the All-Star game also took place where the Sharks had, Captain Joe Pavelski, scoring, assist and point leader Brent Burns, goaltender Martin Jones, and Head Coach Peter DeBoer represent the Northern California club.The Pacific defeated the Central 10-3 in utter dominance in the semi-final. The Pacific, however, lost the 3-on-3 tournament final 4-3 to the Metropolitan Division. The Sharks seek to remain high in the standings and continue this great season being consistent. Now to review the January month for the Sharks.
The Sharks would start of January with a three game home-stand. The first game was against the Los Angeles Kings. The game would have a scoreless first period. Logan Couture would score the games first goal midway into the second period the only goal of the period. The Kings would tie it early in the third at one a piece. With no more scoring in the third period, the overtime would have to be played. In the first minute of overtime, the Kings would capitalize on a Sharks turnover and win the game 2-1. The Sharks would secure just one point in the overtime loss. Next in town came the Minnesota Wild. An eventless first period between both the teams. Joonas Donskoi and Joe Pavelski would open the scoring in the second period giving them a 2-0 lead in the second period. The Wild would get one back on the powerplay later in the period for a 2-1 score at the end of the second period. The Wild would tie it early in the third period. It didn’t take long for the Sharks to go and score two goals with goals from Joel Ward followed by Patrick Marleau. A 4-2 lead in the third but, the Wild had different plans scoring three goals of their own in 5:12 which was enough for the Minnesota to win 5-4 against San Jose. Two tough loses at home and the Red Wings would come into town to close the homestand. Detroit would strike first in the game. A flurry of goals came from San Jose scoring 3 unanswered in the first period. Joonas Donskoi would score the first, Mirco Mueller who got his first point on the Donskoi goal scored his first NHL goal with a blue line blast, and Patrick Marleau would score in the closing seconds of the period for the 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. The scoring would seize in the second period. Captain Joe Pavelski would score the Shark’s fourth unanswered goal, Mikkel Boedker would score the fifth unanswered goal. The Red Wings would get one back. Pavelski would score his second of the game and his 600th career point. Detroit would score again and the game would end in a 6-3 win for San Jose a big night for Joe Pavelski and Mirco Mueller. The Sharks managed to bounce back after two tough home losses.
The Sharks would take a brief Western Canadian trip that was back to back games against the Oilers and the Flames. First was the visit to Edmonton. Early in the first Mikkel Boedker would score for the lead. The Oilers would score later into the opening period to tie the game. Brent Burns scored in the last seconds of the period with a wrist shot from the blue line, giving the Sharks the 2-1 lead at intermission. Mikkel Boedker scored his second of the night at the beginning of the second period. Minutes Later he would score his third for the hat trick on the road his fourth hat trick of his NHL career. A 4-1 lead with one period to play in Edmonton. The Oilers would strike twice in the third period to bring them closer to tying the game. Logan Couture stopped the Oilers hopes poking away the puck from a defender and scoring on a breakaway. The game would end 5-3 in favor of the Sharks now with two in a row won. The next night they would visit the Calgary Flames to close out the road trip. Logan Couture would open the game’s scoring putting the visitors on top. Flames would tie it up later in the period. Brent Burns would restore the Sharks lead and the period would end 2-1 in their favor. The second was almost scoreless till the Flames tied it in the closing seconds on a power play at 2 a piece. The game plan was clear win the third period and win the game. Late in the period the Flames would net the game-winning goal and hand the Sharks a road loss by a 3-2 score. The next two games were at home first was to host the St. Louis Blues. The first period had no goals. The Sharks gave up a power play goal followed by another Blues goal. St. Louis would repeat and score two more in the third for a one-sided 4-0 win. The Jets would be the next to come visit. Joel Ward would score the opening period’s only goal a short-handed goal. A Timo Meier goal and Brent Burns Power play goal gave them a 3-0 lead with one period to play. Chris Tierney would add to the lead in the third. The Jets would score two in the third but a late Thornton empty net goal gave the Sharks a 5-2 victory.
The following two games were in California while the first one was on the road at Los Angeles.The Sharks lost the previous meeting in overtime to the Kings. Brent Burns would initiate the scoring early. The Kings would tie, and Tommy Wingels would reacquire the lead for the Sharks. Joe Pavelski would score on the power play in the second period to increase the lead. The Kings would score making it 3-2 after two periods of play. Neither team scored in the final period and the score remained 3-2 for a Sharks road win. The team would have to head back home to host the Tampa Bay Lightning at the SAP center. Aaron Dell would get the start due to the back to back games. A scoreless first followed by both teams scoring once in the second period for the Sharks it was Ryan Carpenter. One goal was needed to win the game. In the starting seconds of the third period, Logan Couture would score the decisive goal for a 2-1 win. The next two games were against the Colorado Avalanche first at home than on the road. Joel Ward would score the opening period’s lone goal on the power play. Colorado would tie it in the second but the Sharks retook the lead with a goal from Melker Karlsson and hold the lead into the third. The Avalanche would score a game-tying goal in the third and forced overtime. David Schlemko would find the game-winner in overtime and the final score would be 3-2 in the first game vs the Avalanche. Now the game was in Colorado against the Avalanche. Brent Burns scored in the last-minute of the first period the only goal of the period. The Avalanche would tie it in the second period and the 1-1 score would carry to the third and final period. It looked like this game was going to be another tight contest but the unexpected happened. The veteran and once captain of the Sharks, Patrick Marleau scored a natural hat trick on three shots all unanswered goals. Colorado would score a goal but Marleau scored his fourth of the night for his first ever NHL career game with four goals. He became the 12th player to score four goals in a period and the first since Mario Lemieux with the Penguins in 1997. Marleau had his best career game by far accomplishing things the best players in the history of hockey did.
The big win was followed by a game the very next night as they visited the Winnipeg Jets. Brent Burns would score the game’s opening goal on the power play the Jets would tie it up later in the period for a 1-1 tie at intermission. Logan Couture would score for the lead but again the Jets tied it and the tie carried over into the second period’s intermission. The Jets would take the lead in the third. Melker Karlsson would tie it with a short-handed penalty shot goal and Patrick Marleau would lift them over the Jets with his late third period goal for a 4-3 win on the road.
The Oilers would come visit at the SAP Center for the last game before the All-Star Break. Logan Couture would score the first goal of the game for the Sharks. But things went bad from there for San Jose. The Oilers would tie it in the first. Then Edmonton would gain the lead in the second with a power play goal. Then would score two goals in the final period for a 4-1 win. The weekend off for most of the team before coming back to San Jose for the final game of the month against the Chicago Blackhawks. A scoreless first period between the two Western Conference teams. Patrick Marleau would score on the power play in the second and Chicago would tie it later on in the period. Late in the third period, Tomas Hertl would give the Sharks the lead and then a Joe Pavelski empty net goal sealed the 3-1 win at home.
The Sharks played very well this January lots of goals on the power play and some while being short-handed. Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau have made key plays along with Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski which is the reason for their consistency. If they want more breathing room in the standings they have to win against the Pacific Division rivals preferably in regulation so the other team doesn’t get a point. Brent Burns is the leader in scoring with 21 goals, the leader in assists with 32, and leader in points with 53 total points. Martin Jones leads the team with 26 wins while Aaron Dell has 6 wins as the backup. This team is going to be a tough one to play in the playoffs they’ve shown that they are just that good. The Sharks can score many different ways and should be top of the standings possibly the Pacific Division Champions this season.
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February 8, 2017