34-25-9, 77 points
32-25-12, 76 points
9th in Western Conference
10th in Western Conference
Matchsticks & Gasoline
Breathe. Feels good, doesn't it?
Last night, the Sharks showed that they aren't cursed. Winning for the first time in what's seemed like an eternity, the Sharks finally took a two-point step towards a spot in the playoffs.
While there's definitely some work still to be done for San Jose (a one-goal win over the Oilers isn't exactly a triumph of monumental proportions), this win should do plenty to help the Sharks confidence. It had to be at an all-time low during this run of flubbed games, but a win last night, no matter who it came against, helps put the Sharks recent miscues behind them.
Well, at least for one game.
The Sharks have, for whatever inexplainable reason, had trouble with the Flames. San Jose currently sits at 2-1 on the season against Calgary, but the end results don't tell the whole story. Just one goal has decided the outcome of each of game, with Calgary winning the latest match with a Oli Jokinen hat-trick. Really. You can take this as a sign, and leave it for your great-great-great-great grandchildren to warn them of the impending Reaper invasion in 2183, but it's unlikely they'll believe you. We're counting on you, Shepard.
Back to present day, the Sharks haven't had a two-goal lead since they played in Minnesota February 26th (in a game they eventually lost). Now that they have a win under their belts, the Sharks next step towards getting their identity back is to get some distance between themselves and their opposition, on the scoreboard as well as in the standings.
Baby steps. That's what these things (get the first goal, get a two goal lead) really are. But they have to seem like giraffe strides now to Sharks players. Things just aren't coming easy for them, and it's a stressful brand of hockey to watch. You have to give them credit though, because even though the players must be pulling their hair out inside, they look pretty composed on the outside.
I was mostly impressed with their transition game against Calgary, and the way they applied themselves in the offensive and defensive zones. Playing like that, the Sharks should start to get the bounces they've deserved for a few weeks now.
Prediction: Sharks win 4-1. Goals by Vlasic, Couture, Burns and Galiardi.