San Jose lost in overtime for the seventh time on Sunday and the fifth time in February as the Sharks prepare to enter their five-day bye week. While not an ideal conclusion to the three-quarter mark of San Jose’s season, things are shaping up just fine for the Sharks as they rest up for the final push of their campaign.
For starters, San Jose sits five points ahead of both the Edmonton Oilers and the Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific. Edmonton has a game in hand on the Sharks, but Anaheim and the Sharks have played the same number of games at the time of this writing. San Jose will have some games in hand when it returns from its break on Saturday.
This comes knowing the Sharks haven’t exactly fired on all cylinders. Joonas Donskoi is out of the lineup and will certainly find his way back in when healthy. Mikkel Boedker was benched again on Sunday and head coach Pete DeBoer isn’t satisfied with the way his team is playing right now. There’s a silver lining there; sort of.
Before throwing the top line under the bus, as has been the case for much of this season, note that Joe Thornton and company played well on Sunday. The Good, the Boed and the Ugly line on the other hand looked quite poor against the attack of the Bruins. Brent Burns, unsurprisingly, did plenty of damage.
The Pacific remains a tacit threat through it all, as the standings show. San Jose’s insistence on losing in overtime (4-1-5 in its last 10) has managed to keep the team in the division lead. That won’t help the Sharks much when the playoffs roll around, unfortunately, but they won’t need to play in 3v3 overtime, either. So I’m not too worried about it.
An area San Jose does need to worry about, goaltending, saw a significant bump on Sunday. Martin Jones made 26 saves on Sunday (20-21 at even strength) and looked much better than he did in his last appearance against the Bruins. Now he and the rest of the Sharks get a much-needed vacation before facing the Canucks on Feb. 25.
Perhaps most disappointing, other than the result, is the ice time given to Nikolay Goldobin. For all the talk of head coach Pete DeBoer’s masterful handling of the young Sharks, Goldobin only got eight minutes of action against the Bruins. He’s hardly the only one.
I understand it’s a tight game, but I’d like to see a little more action in a game against the Bruins. Ah well. Time for a vacation, right? No? Fine. See you tomorrow.