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Shark Month: November

Photo: rukkus.com
Photo: rukkus.com

By Victor Cabrera

The Sharks had a very active November playing 15 games in the month’s 30 days. In their 15 games, the Sharks had a record of 8-6-1 for 17 points. Currently, the Sharks sit in 1st place in the Pacific Division and 3rd overall in the Western Conference with their 31 points in 25 games. A good month for the Sharks as they are currently in a playoff spot and are the best team in the Pacific.

November didn’t start off as planned for San Jose. The first game of the month was a road game versus divisional rival the Arizona Coyotes. Patrick Marleau would give the Sharks a lead after the opening period. The desert dogs woke up and made a comeback netting three unanswered goals in the middle frame and not conceding a goal. The sharks struggled to make a comeback but Mikkel Boedker managed to score in the closing seconds for the Sharks. The final score was 3-2 in favor of the Coyotes. The Sharks returned to the SAP Center for a two game home-stand. The Flames were the first game, a scoreless first period between the two division rivals. The 2nd period was for the Flames they scored two goals to take a 2-0 lead into the 3rd period. The Sharks tied the game in the third with a power play goal from Brent Burns and a goal from Melker Karlsson. However, Calgary’s rookie Matthew Tkachuk scored the game winner and his second of the game. This was the Sharks’ first home loss of the season a 3-2 final score. Pittsburgh was the next visitor to the Shark Tank the team that defeated San Jose last season for Lord Stanley. SAP Center was the very arena in which the Penguins were crowned champions. Pens took a 2-0 lead in the first period. Then in the second there was more of the same a one-sided period in which the Penguins scored three more goals. The 3rd period was scoreless and the Sharks had now lost their last two at home with this game being a slaughter.

The Sharks would now go on a six-game road trip which began in the Nation’s capital at the Verizon Center. The two teams would have a scoreless first period. In the second period two goals from Sharks defenders, Marc-Eduoard Vlasic and Brent Burns which gave the Sharks a 2-0 after the second period. Joe Thornton would seal the game in the third period with his empty net goal. Martin Jones would record a 24 save shutout in the 3-0 win. The Sharks then had their next two games in Florida and first up was the Panthers. Former long time Sharks’ defender Jason Demers would score two goals for the Panthers and give them a 2-0 lead in the first. Brent Burns would cut Florida’s lead and get the Sharks on the board. Joe Pavelski would tie the game for San Jose in the second period with the only goal of the second period. Tommy Wingels would give the Sharks their first lead of the game and Logan Couture secured the two points scoring an empty net goal at the end of the period. A 4-2 comeback win for the California team had the road trip going in the right direction. In game three of the road trip, San Jose set out to continue their win streak. Patrick Marleau opened the scoring for the Sharks and Tommy Wingels increased the lead to 2-0 in the first period. Vlasic would score in the middle frame for a commanding 3-0 lead with the final frame to play. Early in the third the Bolts managed to score a goal and stopped Jones from getting the shutout but still managed to save 25 shots in the 3-1 win for San Jose. The Sharks were now 3-0 in the first half of the road their road trip.

The Sharks would visit the Carolina Hurricanes in what would be a very tight defensive game. Two scoreless periods and half of the third till the Canes scored the game’s only goal. It was a hard-fought loss for Sharks and the first game they lost on the road trip. The Sharks would then visit the Blues the team they beat last season in the Western conference final. Logan Couture would score the goals first game but the Blues would tie it with a goal from Jaden Schwartz and it would be 1-1 at the intermission. Schwartz would give them the lead in the second period. Kevin Labanc would even the score scoring his first Career NHL goal and point to make it 2-2. The Blues would score on a power play to leave the second period leading 3-2. The Sharks were unable to score in the third to tie and it was now two losses in a row on the road. Now they would visit Arizona for their second matchup in the month. Arizona would score once in the first and once in the second without allowing any goals, for a 2-0 lead into the third period. Early in the final frame, Joe Pavelski scored to start the comeback and Tommy Wingels would tie it. The Sharks forced overtime but Martin Hanzal would give the Desert dogs the two points scoring in the extra session. The second half of the road trip was 0-2-1 only one point to show for their three games.

The Sharks came back to San Jose for a five game home-stand and a sixth game in Los Angeles. New Jersey was the first of the opponents they would face in the Shark Tank. Chris Tierney would score an early short-handed goal in the first followed by a Patrick Marleau goal for a 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes. Logan Couture would score a power play goal, the only goal in the second period to make the game 3-0. Brent Burns would seal the game in the third with a goal for a 4-0 win. Martin Jones had 26 save shutout his second shutout of the season. The lethal Blackhawks would be next at the Shark Tank. A power play goal for Couture to start the period and a short-handed goal for Joel Ward gave the Sharks a 2-o lead through the first period. In the second period, Chicago’s Artemi Panarin would cut the Sharks’ lead in half scoring the only goal of the period. A scoreless third gave the Sharks a 2-1 win with Jones making a 33 save game.

San Jose would have two back to back games in the 5 game home-stand. The New York Islanders would visit the Bay area for what was a crazy game. The Islanders took the lead in the 1st scoring the period’s only goal on a power play. The Sharks would score two goals consecutively in the second period. Joe Pavelski would tie the game and Brent Burns gave them the lead which carried over into the third period. Nick Leddy would tie it for the Islanders in the final minute of the game with their goalie pulled. It looked like overtime was going to be played. However, Patrick Marleau would tip Brent Burns shot to score the game-winning goal with 22.5 seconds remaining in the game. That was now three wins in a row at home with two games to play still. The divisional and state rivals came to SAP Center, the Anaheim Ducks who were on a three-game losing streak looked to end the Sharks win streak. Logan Couture would score on a power play to open the game’s scoring. The Ducks would tie the game with a strange goal. Ryan Garbutt was skating, with an attempt to get a shot off but Burns elbowed and shoved Garbutt into the crease inadvertently causing the puck to cross the line. After review, the referees agreed it was a good goal which caused Peter DeBoer to initiate a Challenge but the call stood. Rakell would score for Anaheim allowing them to take the lead into the intermission. Dylan Demelo would tie the game for the Sharks but Getzlaf would score on a power-play giving them back the lead. Sadly the Sharks could not score in the third and they lost to the Ducks causing the three-game streak to end.

Sharks would play their next two games in California one at home and one at Staples Center. They would host the Desert dogs for what would be the third game between these divisional rivals in one month. Arizona had one both the previous games in November. The first period would be scoreless between both teams. In the second period, Max Domi would give Arizona the lead but, Chris Tierney would tie the game later in the period. The third would be scoreless however, the Coyotes took a crucial penalty with less than a second on the clock of regulation making overtime a 4-3 power play for the Sharks. Over time was brief as with the man advantage they Sharks were able to set up a point shot for Brent Burns to end the game and beat the Yotes. That very night San Jose took flight for the upcoming game at Los Angeles. Kevin Labanc would score first for the Sharks early into the game. Suddenly the Sharks scored two in the final minute of the first period to lead 3-0 on the road. The first goal was by Logan Couture and the second  goal was by Ryan Carpenter his first ever NHL goal and point. The lead would only be cut by one as Dustin Brown scored the solo goal of the second period. Logan Couture would score in fashion making an empty net goal from the defensive zone for a 4-1 final score in favor of the Sharks. Ending the Kings streak of six games without a loss. Martin Jones had a spectacular performance in net with 26 saves on 27 shots. The Sharks are now at a 2 game winning streak and can use the momentum against Montreal in their next game.

Currently, the Sharks point leaders are Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski the captain with 21 points each. Burns is tied with Couture in goals with 9 each. Pavelski leads the team in assists with 14 while Burns has 12 and Thornton has 11. Martin Jones leads the goal-tending with games played 21 for a record of 12-8-1 while backup Aaron Dell has played four games for a 2-1-0 record, his one loss being the 1-0 at Carolina. Dell replaced Jones in the game against the Penguins that ended 5-0.

San Jose had a rough start dropping three games but they played well in the first half of six-game road trip. The second half of the road trip was tough losses in games they really should have won. The 5 game home-stand was amazing except for losing to the Ducks but managed to bounce back for two wins. The Sharks need to continue their consistency and be able to score and get quality chances while not falling too far behind when they trail. Jones is doing good and make lots of saves as well as Dell being a very good backup when he plays. A little better defending to relieve pressure on Jones can result into more offensive zone time so they can catch up or amount their lead. The Sharks are in a good place in the standings and should be able to make the playoffs with their performance so far.

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December 5th


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