Joe Pavelski is having an exceptional season for the San Jose Sharks. Fresh off inking a 5-year, $30 million contract extension last summer, Pavelski is in the midst of a career year as he currently ranks 3rd in the NHL in goals, is on pace for 78 points and continues to be an effective two-way forward used in all situations. He was also named to the U.S. Olympic Team for the second straight time and figures to be a prominent player for the Americans in Sochi when the Games begin next week. Prior to that, and in celebration of everything the former 7th round pick has accomplished in his improbably excellent career, his hometown of Plover, Wisconsin has designated this Friday, February 7th, as Joe Pavelski Day. Here's the press release:
The City of Plover, Wisconsin will honor San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski by decreeing that Fri., Feb. 7, 2014 is "Joe Pavelski Day" in recognition of his achievements both on and off the ice.
Pavelski, a native of Plover, Wisconsin, played high school and college hockey in the state of Wisconsin, winning a State Championship with Stevens Point Area High School in 2002 and a NCAA Division 1 National Championship with the University of Wisconsin in 2006. Off the ice, Pavelski is active in giving back to the Portage County community, organizing and running youth hockey camps in the area as well as donating and participating in various community fundraisers.
Ideally, every day should be Joe Pavelski Day but this is certainly a step in the right direction. In honor of this momentous occasion, here's my personal favorite Pavelski moment:
That was the playoff series that cemented his reputation as The Big Pavelski but, beyond that, I don't think it's possible to overstate the significance of this particular goal. If Pavs doesn't bury that, the Sharks are down 0-2 in the series heading into Denver and likely end up bowing out in the first round to an eighth seed for the second straight postseason. It isn't a stretch to suggest that would have resulted in major offseason roster upheaval; moves that, in all likelihood, would have taken the Sharks further away from a Stanley Cup rather than closer to one. Instead, Pavelski slammed a loose puck past Craig Anderson, was a force for San Jose as they stormed back to eliminate the Avalanche and scored four goals in the first two games of their second-round series victory against Detroit. That one goal probably saved the Sharks franchise from shooting itself in the foot.
But there are plenty of other awesome Pavelski moments to go around. Share your favorites in the comments.