Let's go back to Nov. 12 and see what the Sharks looked like then. With a 7-8-0 record and a pair of losses in a row, San Jose was about to head on a daunting six-game road trip which featured some tough (and some not so tough) competition. These long road trips (particularly in February) have been the bane of the Sharks for as long as I can remember, so it certainly didn't feel like this would break them from the doldrums of a win-one-lose-one streak.
Yet, here we are. The Sharks now boast a 13-8-0 record and those 26 points have them atop the Pacific Division at the quarter mark of the season. Four of the six games were won by just a goal, and yesterday's advantage only moved to two goals thanks to an empty-net tally from Joe Pavelski. It's best to be lucky and good, and the Sharks got their fair share of both in addition to some freaking phenomenal goaltending.
San Jose's PDO of 105.9 over the road trip is the third-highest of any team over that time period. The Sharks got .948 even strength goaltending and started to shoot the puck at a respectable clip (10.2 percent at even strength) — that'll help win a lot of hockey games. Their corsi numbers are still nothing to jump up and down about, but given the impetus on shot blocking it seems the Sharks are destined to be more of a fenwick team than a corsi team anyway.
Game 1: Sharks @ Red Wings
How they won: Martin Jones played well and Jimmy Howard played like trash. The Sharks played like garbage but managed to get a win — kind of refreshing to see it go that way once in a while.
Game 2: Sharks @ Sabres
How they won: The Sharks scored on the power play! Check that, Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored on the power play. And Patrick Marleau, who had a great road trip, scored the game-winner in overtime. They played better than against the Wings, but were held relatively even in the second of a back to back by the Sabres.
Game 3: Sharks @ Bruins
How they won: Goaltending didn't play much of a role in this one, as nine goals were scored and the Sharks came back from one-goal deficits twice to down the Bruins. Joe Thornton scored, which is a special occasion when it doesn't come against the Bruins; when it does? Yeah, break out the champagne.
Game 4: Sharks @ Flyers
How they won: Martin Jones played a wonderful game, holding the Flyers down in a shutout effort, and Melker Karlsson scored a beauty on an odd-man rush in overtime. It wasn't pretty, but it seems it rarely is against the Flyers.
Game 5: Sharks @ Penguins
How they won: Patrick Marleau tallied his 1,000th point and Brent Burns scored twice while Jones played well to hold off what may one day turn into a dangerous Pittsburgh offense. Or maybe it won't and Jones sucks for letting the woeful Penguins score even one goal. Don't go look at my preseason predictions.
Game 6: Sharks @ Blue Jackets
How they won: I chalked this game up as a sure loss entering the road trip. Playing for the sixth time in 10 days on the road, the second of a back-to-back after playing a tough Pittsburgh team the day before? This had scheduled loss written all over it. And for a while, it looked like I was going to be right. Then the Sharks scored four times in the third period, stunning the Blue Jackets and John Tortorella (though maybe not their fans) and skating out with a perfect road trip.
- Unsurprisingly, this is the Sharks first 6-0 road trip.
- Martin Jones earned first star of the week honors
- The Sharks scored 19 goals on the road trip and allowed 11.
- From start to finish the Sharks traveled 5,471 miles on this road trip.