There wasn't a whole lot at stake tonight at the Tank as two likely non-playoff teams in the Sharks and Avalanche did battle, and it certainly looked that way on the ice. With the exception of an inadvertent Joe Thornton high-stick that may have claimed a few of Joe Pavelski's teeth, San Jose's 5-1 win over Colorado lacked the kind of intensity usually associated with hockey games at this time of year. Heated matchup or not, though, the Sharks picked up two points to keep their slim postseason hopes alive or at the very least increase their chances of ending a disappointing season on a high note.
Scott Hannan broke through with a second period deflection of a Brent Burns point shot while Chris Tierney, arguably the Sharks' best forward all game long, added an insurance marker in the third. San Jose responded well to the lone bit of adversity they faced, countering a leaky Matt Duchene power play goal allowed by Alex Stalock with a perfectly set-up Patrick Marleau tally less than two minutes later. Logan Couture, who did much of the legwork on Marleau's goal, and John Scott with his career-high third goal sealed with empty-netters what was a quietly efficient win for the Sharks who were more or less in control from buzzer to buzzer.
- Tierney's development continues to be one the few bright spots of this disappointing Sharks season. His line was once again San Jose's best tonight, frequently setting up shop in the Colorado zone for extended stretches.
- Taylor Fedun had a solid night in his second game with the big club, drawing a penalty early on, breaking up a 3-on-1 Avalanche rush and moving the puck efficiently throughout.
- John Scott has scored more goals than Ryan Suter this season in about 1800 fewer minutes of ice time.
- Speaking of Scott, Brad Stuart started the evening by getting stripped of the puck by the Sharks' enforcer, in case you're still wondering whether the Sharks won that trade.
- Matt Duchene was more or less the only Avalanche player who showed up tonight but he was fantastic. Everyone raves about his speed, and with good reason, but his puck protection skills below the goal line are Sidney Crosby-esque.
- It's still hilarious that Jarome Iginla turned down an offer from the Tampa Bay Lightning in free agency in part because he believed the Avs gave him a better chance to finally win the Cup. That's turned out well.
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: Chris Tierney
2nd Star: Brent Burns
3rd Star: Matt Duchene