Havlat hat trick, Stalock saves earn Sharks 5-1 win

Martin Havlat scored a natural hat trick and Alex Stalock performed admirably in goal as the San Jose Sharks won handily against the Colorado avalanche.

After disappointing losses to the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks, the Sharks got back in the win column behind a natural hat trick from Martin Havlat and 32 saves from Alex Stalock.

A meaningless game became must-see TV for Sharks fans when it was announced this morning that Tomas Hertl would return to the lineup against the Avalanche. After a 40+ game absence Hertl got the call tonight, playing 15 minutes and registering two shots on goal.

On the second night of a back-to-back Patrick Roy inexplicably decided to start third-stringer Retto Berra over usual backup Jean-Sebastian Giguere. That decision proved costly quickly as the Sharks jumped out to a 2-0 lead on their first five shots of the game. This led Roy to rethink his goaltending decision, opting to replace Berra with Giguere after Patrick Marleau's goal at 10:11 in the first period.

The Avalanche kept the game close in a back-and-forth second period that saw the possession numbers slightly favor the Denver squad. This culminated in a great goal from Patrick Bordeleau, ending Alex Stalock's shutout bid. The Sharks woke up after the Avs made it a one-goal game and dominated play the rest of the way.

Martin Havlat was benched against Anaheim, a "message" sent by the coaching staff, apparently. Well, if such a thing matters, Havlat certainly replied tonight. A shot from Logan Couture was deflected in by number nine and eight minutes later he buried his own rebound on a breakaway. This culminated in his sixth-career hat trick as Roy pulled Giguere with over five minutes to go and Havlat found the back of the empty net.

[Fancy Stats] - [Avalanche Reaction]
[Event Summary] - [PBP Log] - [TOI Log] - [Faceoff Report]

  • Martin Havlat scored three goals. I have nothing to add to that.
  • Tomas Hertl looked like his usual self out there, which is a great sign for a Sharks team that is going to need him come playoff time.
  • He started out on the third line tonight, which is hopefully just a precautionary move and not an indicator of what we'll see in the playoffs.
  • Alex Stalock was terrific again, making 32 saves of the 33 that came his way, including a few beauties. I assume Antti Niemi will get the start tomorrow night, but as for who starts against the Kings in game one next week...well, that's anyone's guess.
  • Patrick Roy pulled his netminder with almost six minutes to play in the third period. Pretty awesome.
  • Dan Boyle scored a goal and the Sharks won the game. Seems like that hasn't happened much lately.
  • This game might be meaningless in terms of the playoffs, but watching the Sharks beat a team they should beat makes me feel better.
  • Matt Nieto is in southern California because his mother is undergoing cancer treatment (per the great Dave Pollak). Thoughts and prayers are with his family, of course.
  • Only one more game until the impending stress of the playoffs seeks to kill me yet again. I can't wait.
FTF Three Stars

1st Star: Martin Havlat
2nd Star: Alex Stalock
3rd Star: Logan Couture