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San Jose Sharks Monthly Review: October
By Victor Cabrera
With the Sharks looking for another trip to the Stanley Cup Final, this season would have to require as much consistency as the last. The Sharks and their players have remained on hot streaks following the post-season and World Cup of Hockey. Although the season is young October did turn out to be a fairly good start to the new season. This team was kept mostly the same and it has shown to be an effective strategy by Peter DeBoer and the Shark’s management. Now to review what the Shark’s have done this October.
San Jose played nine regular season games having a record of 6-3-0 which was a total of 12 points on the season. The season started at home vs division rivals LA Kings followed by five road games in the Eastern Conference. It has been a good start with only a couple of close losses. The Sharks got on the board in eight of the nine games. They failed to score against Detroit. The Sharks have yet to get a shutout this season which is one downside of the start of this season. If the Sharks are able to tighten up a little a good season can be expected from them as scoring has not been a problem so far.
The season opener vs the Kings gave a little scare as at the start of the game the Kings would score. Later into the 1st period on a power play, Logan Couture was able to score and tie the game. After an eventless 2nd period, the 3rd period began to a much better start as Brent Burns scored receiving an assist from Joonas Donskoi and Couture. The next game would be at Columbus. Mikkel Boedker and Joel Ward would score the only goals in the 1st period which would be followed by yet another silent 2nd period for both the Sharks and their opponents. The Blue Jackets would get one back in the 3rd period. In the closing minute of the game, while the Jackets had their goalie pulled and on the penalty kill, Patrick Marleau would score the game-winning, power play, empty net goal. Columbus would score shortly after and the Sharks would be 2-0 with the road trip at its start.
The following week the Sharks would hit a few bumps in the road. Losing to the Rangers in a high scoring game 7-4 on the 1st of the back to back games in New York. Next came the Islanders where the Sharks would lead after the 1st and then trail till the final minutes of the 2nd period where the Sharks would tie the score 2-2. Through a tough 3rd period, the Captain Joe Pavelski would score the game-winning goal bouncing back from a tough loss against the Rangers the night before.
The game on everyone’s eyes especially Sharks fans would be next, the Stanley Cup Final rematch the Sharks vs the Penguins. A scoreless 1st period between these two teams led to a very good 2nd period for the Sharks. A 2-0 lead following the 2nd intermission for the Sharks and what looked like sweet revenge. The Penguins were able to tie the game at two during the first half of the 3rd period. Then on a power play, Pittsburgh would take the lead and close out the game while denying the Sharks revenge from the last season and giving them a loss.
Detroit would be the last road stop and the final regular season trip to the Joe Louis Arena, for the Sharks. Another scoreless 1st period in consecutive games for the Sharks and their opponent but in the 2nd Gustav Nyquist would net two and in the 3rd Andreas Athanasiou would score ending the game 3-0, the only game San Jose didn’t score in during October.
Back in Northern California, the Sharks would face another division rival the Anaheim Ducks. The Captain Pavelski would give San Jose the lead in the 1st and it held up until the final minutes of the middle frame. A hard-fought and scoreless 3rd would force the game into overtime in which the Sharks would take two points as Vlasic scored in sudden death early into the extra session. Yet another division rival defeated at the SAP Center.
The Sharks would have two solid games in the rest of the three-game homestand defeating the Blue Jackets 3-1 their second victory against them in the season and then defeating a wounded Nashville Predator team by the score of 4-1. A perfect home record with four wins in four games to start this season.
Now to analyze the stats of the Sharks leaders thus far in this season. Martin Jones would have five of the six wins and three losses while backup goalie Aaron Dell would win his only start of the season against the Islanders. The team leading goal scorers for October were Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl with four goals each. Sharks had three players in October with seven assists Pavelski, Joe Thornton, and Brent Burns all three of which played in the World Cup of Hockey. The Captain would be the leading point scorer with 11 points as broken down earlier he leads the team in goals(4) (tied with Hertl) and assists with seven (tied with Thornton and Burns) an amazing start in the nine games during October. The Captain really has led his team to a great start and if this continues they will be a hard team to defeat and battle with during the playoffs.
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